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10
4.3 out of 5 stars
Corridors of Blood [DVD] [1962] [US Import]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 July 2008
This is an interesting film, which may even have some basis in truth. Boris Karloff plays a Doctor who is determined to find a way to end the suffering of patients who have to undergo surgery without anaethestic. Unfortunately his first demonstration is unsuccessful and as a result he is only able to test the various gases he creates on himself and this has unforseen side effects.

There are good supporting roles from Christopher Lee and Francis Matthews, but it is Karloff who holds the film together. Its certainly worth seeing and even if its a work of fiction its entertaining enough in its own right.

A reviewer for another version of the film states that that DVD is badly cut. However this DVD is the same length as the version I have on video, which as far as I know is the full uncut version.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2007
Sorry but this DVD is only a travesty of the original movie.
I noticed no less than four cuts, in comparizon with the old VHS released years ago in Great-Britain.
- A scene between Christopher Lee and Yvonne Romain
- Boris Karloff cutting the leg of a man
- Christopher Lee murdering a night watchman
- Christopher Lee disfigured by acid at the end of movie.
These sequences are not entirely cut, but abridged of some shots, reducing greatly their impact.
The older DVD had the same cuts. Both were made from an American master, as the present Criterion edition in USA.
So, to my knowledge, the old VHS British edition is the ONLY complete video version to date.
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on 6 October 2014
Given some of the reviews already posted I wasn't sure whether to purchase this UK release. The picture on the Amazon page shows a 'PG' Rating, the same as the Australian rating in the Boris Karloff box-set I previously bought.

I know the VHS release had a higher rating but I took the chance and am happy to say that this 'Horror Classics' DVD is actually a '15' certificate and as such IS the uncut version. All the more contentious scenes are here in their full glory, unlike the Australian and US release which watered them down and so greatly reduced the impact.

I'm not saying violence is the be-all and end-all, merely that we as buyers have the right to watch films the way the director wanted us to see them. So rest assured if you're coming to the movie for the first time this release showcases 'Corridors of Blood' in its full UK theatrical version.

Unreleased for four years due to problems at MGM,and with a title change in the interim (it was originally 'The Doctor From Seven Dials'), the film benefits from an excellent cast and realistic period detail, particularly in the poor part of town (the Seven Dials area), which looks and feels extremely grim and filthy. In this respect it shares a similarity with the equally excellent 'The Flesh & The Fiends' (1959), which also boasted a genuine grimness that makes both movies feel far more gruesome than they actually are.

Of course, Boris Karloff is the star but Christopher Lee makes an unforgettable impression as Resurrection Joe, with his soft voice and scarred cheeks and top hat, Lee simply oozes screen prescence without actually doing much - always the mark of a quality actor - and his final scene will remain long in the memory, being a brilliant example of how to utilise small editorial touches (a little bit of slow-motion, clever use of sound etc.), to enhance the horror and leave you feeling that you've seen more than you actually have.

If you're a fan of Karloff and/or Lee or indeed British horror in general, I have no hesitation in recommending this movie. The picture quality perhaps isn't the best it could be, with a lot of marks and the old change-the-reel splodges in the top right hand corner still evident rather than digitally removed but the aspect ratio appears to be the correct one compared to other releases. The 50's was a golden era for British horror and this is one of the many high points. Enjoy.
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on 12 March 2012
Richard and Alex Gordon, two British-born movie fans who immigrated to the US to produce independent movies, met with some cult success recently thanks to a series of low-budget, high-quality movies crafted in the fifties and sixties. Alex, despite (or maybe because of) having written screenplays for Ed Wood, remained less well-known than his brother Richard, represented by three films in this collection, versus one for Alex ("The Atomic submarine").
Before addressing each film individually, one word on the package: this is typical Criterion treatment with good quality copies, very entertaining special features, in particular interviews with cast and crew but essentially very entertaining commentaries by the two brothers. Everything you always wanted to know but were always afraid to ask about Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Ed Wood, or even Alfred Hitchcock: it's all in there and enables the modern viewer/listener to appreciate the difficulties of making independent movies in the fifties. Congratulations have to go to Tom Weaver, film historian, in charge of these releases and who seems to have been a one-man show on the DVDs, from interviewer to commentary moderator: a great success.
The films themselves, despite generally being produced on shoestring budgets, hold their rank remarkably well considering that they were all produced in 1958 and 1959. I will give them an average of 4 out of 5 stars.
THE HAUNTED STRANGLER (3/5) is in my opinion the weakest of the lot. Designed as a star vehicle for an ageing Boris Karloff (aged 70 at the time of shooting), this variation around the Jekyll and Hyde theme suffers from a dramatic lack of pace and a transformation from hero to monster by Karloff which is clearly over the top. There is also a bit too much melodrama for modern viewers.
The second Karloff vehicle, CORRIDORS OF BLOOD (4/5) is conversely the best of the lot. This is probably because this is NOT a horror movie but essentially a film about drug addiction and medical progress in XIXth century London. There are strong horror undertones of course (not least the presence of Christopher Lee in the cast, in his first of two films shot with Karloff), but this is much closer to an A-list epic than a Saturday nite B-movie. Production values are stellar, the script is terrific and the supporting cast is absolutely glorious (Yvonne Romain, Finlay Currie, Francis Matthews, Betta StJohn...).
Switching to the Sci-Fi movies, there are both very good and spectacular: FIRST MAN INTO SPACE (4/5) is the last film produced by Richard Gordon in this series: Quite reminiscent of "The Quatermass Xperiment", "First Man" manages to be a better movie than its illustrious predecessor. The story moves very swiftly, the characters are well-defined, the monster make-up is very effective and quite spooky even for modern eyes, and the screenplay is solid: a very strong B-movie.
THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE (4/5) is the only film of the lot to be produced by Alex Gordon. This is an amazing little Z-movie, that could have been written for Ed Wood but hopefully wasn't. This is a very good little story, with quite efficient special effects (very gruesome make-up towards the end), and interesting changes of tone for its time. Unpretentious but very effective.
Overall, this is a very good collection, which will satisfy the amateurs of Saturday night B-movies, fans of Boris Karloff, and more generally people curious about the cast and crew that "made" these sort of films in the 50s and 60s. Well done Tom Weaver.
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on 13 March 2015
Excellent horror, drama starring horror legends Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee. Karloff plays a sympathetic doctor in 19th Century London who is searching for a drug that would numb patients pain whilst being under the knife. His colleagues scoff at him, but Karloff continues his work. The problem is he is getting addicted to the gases he his working on and Corridors of Blood can easily be seen as a metaphor for drug addiction. As a sub plot we have the sleazy hangers on from the pub, The Seven Dials who are killing off persons to claim money. These same people could end up jeopardizing Karloff's reputation.

The acting all round is superb and the story is clear and tight. The characters names are just perfect, and most folks in this movie are the dregs of society. Watch out for an underused but sterling performance from Christopher Lee as the cockney speaking Resurrection Joe. Rob Zombie would years later go on and write a song about the character and this movie. Of note this film was made in 1958 but wasn't released until 1962. One of Karloff's best performances.
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on 7 June 2012
i'm not sure what version of this film the previous reviewer was referring to but it sure wasn't this one.
my dvd of "corridors of blood" has been well restored, the picture and sound quality are very good and a vast improvement over my old video release.
this is one of the best films from the latter part of boris karloff's career. the acting from karloff, the script, direction and the supporting cast are all very good. playing a well-meaning surgeon who strives to find some way to spare patients pain and suffering during surgery, karloff unfortunately becomes addicted to the drug that he experiments with. to make matters worse, he and the drug fall into the wrong hands of local robbers and murderers francis de wolff and christopher lee.
it makes for quite gripping viewing to see one man reduced to pleading for mercy at the hands of the villains of the piece, when karloff's addiction begins to get the better of him.
this is also quite violent stuff and i'm not surprised by the certificate that this dvd has been given.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2007
...this set should have included FIEND WITHOUT A FACE instead of THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE. It was made at the same time as the other three films by the same British production team (Richard Gordon/Amalgamated Productions), it also features Marshall Thompson making it a perfect companion piece to FIRST MAN INTO SPACE, and Criterion has already released it as a single so it would simply have to be repackaged. I have fond memories of ATOMIC SUBMARINE from my childhood but stylistically and thematically it really doesn't belong here and should have been released as a single. It would be even better if Criterion gave Alex Gordon (VOODOO WOMAN, THE SHE CREATURE) his own box set.

Having gotten my preference out of the way, let me say that ATOMIC SUBMARINE has never looked better while the other three are virtually the same as the now out-of-print Image Entertainment editions from several years ago. Both of the Karloff vehicles are personal favorites of mine even though they really aren't that scary. However they are very atmospheric especially for 1950's b/w horror films. In fact they are British reworkings of Val Lewton's THE BODY SNATCHER and BEDLAM. The real treat is watching Boris at age 70 still giving it his all (which in STRANGLER is quite a lot) and there is the added bonus of a young Christopher Lee in CORRIDORS. The Marshall Thompson FIRST MAN INTO SPACE lacks the thrills of FIEND WITHOUT A FACE but is not without its moments although it's not up to the QUATERMASS XPERIMENT which it closely resembles. The supplementary features are plentiful and the packaging is typically solid although the artwork is rather curious. I'm not quite sure why Criterion chose to release this group of films but I'm glad they did if for no other reason than to draw attention to them.
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on 1 December 2012
A great film for it's time and still holds up very well today, a b/w classic with the rest of the cast performing well, A nice 24 page booklet included, if you like Karloff then you'll love this little gem from yesteryear.
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on 14 February 2015
It arrived on time.Of its time and type it is very good and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it again after so many years.
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on 1 February 2015
great
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