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DVD Review: CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)



Studio: Grindhouse Releasing
Year: 1968
Cast: Peter Cushing, Sue Lloyd
Director: Robert Hartford-Davis
Release Date: October 08, 2013
Rating: R for (adult themes, violence)
Run Time: 01h:30m:39s
Genre(s): cult

“With today’s knowledge and modern techniques, there’s hope of completely restoring her.” - Sir John Rowan (Peter Cushing)

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)

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This is the first time this British shocker has ever been released in the U.S. on home video. I, for one, can't wait to see what the legendary Peter Cushing brings to such a creepy role.

Movie Grade: B-

DVD Grade: A-

For those of you who know the late, great Peter Cushing solely for his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in “the original” Star Wars film, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do if you’re amongst his fans. A good chunk of his illustrious career was spent starring in genre pictures like Horror of Dracula, Asylum, and The Curse of Frankenstein, bringing a certain charisma to films that, in many instances, needed him to balance out some of the hokum. One of the more controversial films starring Cushing was 1968’s Corruption, a movie full of violence, nudity, and overall brutality that simply wouldn’t have been possible without Cushing’s involvement. After many years of being a hard-to-find title, at least on the domestic front, Corruption comes to Blu-ray, fittingly, enough, from Grindhouse Releasing. The result is a feature-packed disc that includes two cuts of the film, one a bit grislier than the other, as well as an incredibly large amount of supplements that are going to more than please the film’s fans.

Corruption is basically exploitative trash masquerading, at least at times, as a high-brow thriller, thanks, entirely, to the work of Peter Cushing. It’s a good exploitative trash, though, as the film features themes, and an unbridled gruesomeness that was nearly unheard of in 60s cinema. Things start off, innocently enough, at a party where we meet Cushing’s Sir John Rowan at a party with his beautiful model girlfriend Lynn (Sue Lloyd). At the party, a bout of jealousy leads to an accident that leaves Lynn’s face horribly disfigured. John, a leading surgeon, vows to fix Lynn’s face, regardless of the cost, but, when his years of training lead him to a dead end, it becomes clear that much more drastic measures are necessary.

This is where things take a turn for the morbid, as John, realizing that the endocrine system of another human is the answer to renewing Lynn’s beauty, hires a prostitute and brutally murders her. While this, and subsequent killings, do, indeed, do the trick, it also leads John down a road that only leads to madness, and this is where Cushing’s acting prowess goes into full effect. His sheer professionalism and believability prevents Corruption from becoming a total mess, as Cushing, even against some extremely cheesy music, and hokey visuals, embodies Sir John Rowan as a madly-in-love sophisticated professional who is also human, and will stop at nothing for love, including rubbing freshly-spilled blood across a hooker’s breasts.

Corruption, regardless of the cut that you watch, is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with both looking much better than the film has ever looked on any format. The slightly-longer UK cut does exhibit a few issues, such as specks of dirt and a lot of grain, but, overall image detail is good for both and colors are well-rendered. The audio is a 1.0 DTS-HD MA track that is far from dynamic, but it more than serves its purpose, providing crystal clear dialogue throughout that works perfectly with the rest of the sound mix.

There are quite a few extras here, beginning with a commentary track by authors Jonathan Rigby and David Miller. Rigby wrote the book English Gothic and Miller wrote a biography on Peter Cushing, and both bring quite a bit of valuable information to the table here. Unfortunately, much of the discussion is a bland one; with both contributors lacking the panache that is evident in the best such audio commentary tracks.

We also find nearly four minutes of alternate scenes, including the more-gruesome take on the prostitute murder scene. There’s also recent video interviews with Billy Murray, Jan Waters, and Wendy Varnals, along with an audio-only interview with Peter Cushing that was recorded back in 1974.

Next up is a collection of promotional materials for Corruption, including a pair of trailers, five TV Spots, and two Radio Spots. Next up are a trio of still galleries and a filmography for director Robert Hartford-Davis, which includes the actual trailers for his other films, Black Gunn and The Take. A ton of other trailers for Grindhouse Releasing films are also here, previewing An American Hippie In Israel, The Big Gundown, The Swimmer, Massacre Mafia Style, Gone With the Pope, Cannibal Holocaust, Death Game, Family Enforcer, Ice House, Poor White Trash 2, Cat In the Brain, The Beyond, Cannibal Ferox, The Tough Ones, Pieces, and I Drink Your Blood.

The last of this plethora of extras is the original director’s shooting script, which is actually available on the DVD that’s included in this set.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - February 8, 2014, 2:38 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: surgeon, murder, madness




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