HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Monkey's Paw, The Five Fingers Of DeathBuy this film here.
Year: 1948
Director: Norman Lee
Stars: Milton Rosmer, Megs Jenkins, Michael Martin Harvey, Eric Micklewood, Brenda Hogan, Mackenzie Ward, Joan Seton, Norman Shelley, Alfie Bass, Rose Howlett, Hay Petrie, Sydney Tafler, Patrick Ward, Vincent Lawson
Genre: Horror, Drama
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: This antiques merchant (Hay Petrie) is hoping to make a sale from the latest dealer (Sydney Tafler) to cross his doorstep, but he cannot get him interested in what he regards as a prime piece of merchandise, a statue reputed to belong to Genghis Khan, when all the dealer wants is this unassuming-looking monkey's paw which is under glass. The merchant is reluctant to part with it for there is a mystique around the object suggestive of the properties of luck: apparently, all you have to do is hold it and make a wish, and that wish will be granted. There must be a catch, but the dealer isn't bothered about that, all he sees is a lucrative sale, so off he goes with a selection of objects as a bargain to accompany the paw...

W.W. Jacobs was an English writer who hit the big time with his spooky tales, in particular one which continues to exert a fascination over readers even to this day. In 1902, he penned The Monkey's Paw, one of the prototype works of zombie fiction that has gone on to influence a host of stories from the low budget Canadian Vietnam veteran horror Deathdream on the cultier end of the spectrum to the bestselling paperback Pet Sematary, Stephen King's bleak homage to a very bleak little tale, and versions more or less drawn from the page are still made every so often, especially since the original is in the public domain.

Here was one from the British B-movie specialists Butchers who churned out seemingly hundreds of hour-long supporting features on tiny budgets, and found a very decent market in doing so. Few of their output could be described as anything close to classic status, and so it was with this, though that was not to say there was no worth in it as director Norman Lee, hitherto a specialist in mild comedy, demonstrated an unexpectedly sure hand at the fright sequences, especially in light of the "will this do?" air of everything leading up to them. The source, in spite of its killer plot, wasn't exactly a massive tome, which has left adapters down the years the issue of how to pad it out, and by setting it in the countryside the filmmakers opted to give us local colour and plenty of it.

It wasn't quite oo-ar down on the faaarm territory, so what we had instead was the simple folk with a modern (for 1948) twist, thus dad Mr Trelawne (Milton Rosmer) is up to his eyes in gambling debts and son Tom (Eric Micklewood) doesn't work at a factory or in any industrial accident-threatening occupation, but has his heart set on the then exciting new sport of speedway, and plans on raising cash to purchase his own bike with which to race. He has a fiancée (Brenda Hogan) who dotes on him but is growing impatient for a wedding ring, and mother Megs Jenkins huffs and puffs her way through the domestic dramas which arise, and they seem to do so with far too much detail for at least the first two-thirds of the film, plainly marking time until they can reach the denouement.

The dealer shows up one night, spooking the comic relief Irishman Kelly (Michael Martin Harvey) who is there to intone dire warnings about messing with forces we do not understand, or at least look afraid when someone does, and one thing leads to another, resulting in a painting exchanged for the paw. With the debts weighing heavily on him, Pa Trelawne wishes for two hundred quid (OK, it was a lot of money in those days) and gets what he requested in the most terrible manner possible. Vintage sport fans will be pleased to see actual speedway footage of the time was used for the sequence where Tom underwhelmingly falls from his bike, while vintage chiller fans will be admiring the way with shadow director Lee brings to the parts where tragedy strikes and the dreadful consequences of not being careful what you wish for are realised. This remained nevertheless a creaky diversion with stagey acting and an obvious lack of funds to open it out, yet the strength of Jacobs' yarn was such that it showed through even the most impoverished of tellings. Music by Stanley Black.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1583 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: