CORRIDORS OF BLOOD (1958) Reviews and overview

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‘Tops in terror’
Corridors of Blood is a 1958 British-American horror feature film about a dedicated doctor who tried to invent an anaesthetic for use in surgery. Unfortunately, by being his own guinea pig, he soon finds himself addicted.

Directed by Robert Day (Ritual of Evil;  First Man Into Space; Grip of the Strangler) from a screenplay written by Jean Scott Rogers, the Amalgamated Productions-Producers Associates movie stars Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Christopher Lee and Finlay Currie.

“The blood of the title is confined to hospital surgeries, but Bolton’s sense of panic leads him to a dark side replete with unlawfulness and eventual murder […] Additionally, the pacing is problematic; the film could have used a director more inclined to let loose. Still, Corridors of Blood features a solid, noteworthy performance from its star, is handsomely produced…” Alfred Eaker

“The mood is perfect, creating a grim depiction of a Victorian London, with atmospheric lighting and fairly impressive camerawork to boot. Overall, Corridors of Blood is a strong piece of cinema, featuring excellent acting and genuine emotion from Jean Scott Rogers’s script. It’s easy viewing once it gets going…” Eye for Film

“Overall, while this is not blatantly a horror movie, it has some very dark aspects to it – drug addiction and murder. It is a fine exhibition by Karloff and Lee, both always great to watch. I recommend it to horror fans, even if just to see Resurrection Joe.” Horror News

“The cinematography looks more like something that is film-noir than just classic horror […] more like the Val Lewton RKO horror pictures than the more commercial and better known Universal Monsters franchise. Corridors of Blood is a nice surprise if you stumble across it looking for a standard British horror picture from their best horror era.” Talking Pulp

” …this often seems to be little more than an excuse for detailed coverage of some utterly gruesome operations and the systematic mutilation of patients on the operating table. There are some compensations, however, notably a cunningly atmospheric recreation of Victorian London from Day (who made the infinitely superior Grip of the Strangler)…” Time Out

Corridors of Blood is well-acted and looks great but it’s not particularly involving and lacks the emotional oomph necessarily to make you connect with Karloff’s plight […] He just can’t save what is mostly an unremarkable (and somewhat dull) flick.” The Video Vacuum

” …a plodding, shuddersome exercise in blood and pain.” The New York Times, 6th June 1963

Cast and characters:
Boris Karloff … Doctor Bolton
Betta St. John … Susan
Christopher Lee … Resurrection Joe
Finlay Currie … Superintendent Matheson
Adrienne Corri … Rachel
Francis De Wolff … Black Ben
Francis Matthews … Jonathan Bolton
Frank Pettingell … Mr Blount
Basil Dignam … Chairman
Marian Spencer … Mrs Matheson
Carl Bernard … Ned, The Crow
John Gabriel … Dispenser
Nigel Green … Insp. Donovan
Yvonne Romain … Rosa (as Yvonne Warren)
Howard Lang … Chief Inspector
Julian D’Albie … Bald Man
Roddy Hughes … Man With Watch
Robert Raglan … Wilkes
Charles Lloyd Pack … Hardcastle
Anthea Holloway … Undetermined Role
Bernard Archard … Hospital Official
Frank Sieman … Evans, Hospital Night Porter
Bob Head … Sick Amputee (uncredited)
Stratford Johns … Patient with injured arm
Skip Martin … Undetermined Role
Marianne Stone … Woman Arrested at Black Ben’s
Brian Wilde … Man in Operating Theatre Audience

Filming locations:

MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England from 12th May 1958.

Technical details:
86 minutes
Audio: Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Black and White
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1

Working title:
The Doctor from Seven Dials

£90,000 (estimated)

Released in the USA in 1963 by MGM on a ‘Nervo-Rama’ double-bill with Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory

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