Corruption (1968)

Sir Peter Cushing would have been 100 years old this year and to celebrate the event Grindhouse Releasing presents the sleaze fest CORRUPTION aka CARNAGE in a fully restored and deluxe Blu-Ray/DVD special Edition.  The two disc set will be available October 8th. 

Sir John Rowan (Peter Cushing) is an extremely talented and renowned surgeon.  He is also a very jealous man.  He is engaged to gorgeous red haired fashion model Lynn (Sue Lloyd) whom he meets at a swinger’s party where she is doing a shoot.  He quickly becomes uncomfortable with her work as it seems to be moving towards a nude shoot and gets in a fight with the photographer that leaves Lynn disfigured when an arc light falls on her.  His devotion to his fianceé is tested by her devastation and he tries a unique and experimental procedure to restore her beauty.  He uses a combination of laser and a balm made from the pituitary gland of young females.  The first gland he uses is from a corpse in the morgue but it doesn’t work as well as it needs to and Lynn pushes him to find a better treatment.

Needless to say the film draws a bit of inspiration from EYES WITHOUT A FACE and THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF in the theme that a doctor kills young women in order to restore the beauty of someone he loves.  Instead of a daughter it is John’s bride-to-be.  He reluctantly sets to the task and goes to the home of a prostitute.  She strips down expecting him to do the same only to find him wearing a jacket and surgical gloves.  She thinks he is leaving and not going to pay her but she is a little off in her assessment because he is there for her head.  In a drawn out brawl he stabs the nude girl in the stomach and then begins to cut off her head.  Keep in mind this is the International presentation of the film.  The set also includes the US/UK version which includes a much tamer and clothed murder. 

Each treatment seems to be only temporary and the good doctor has to figure out more ways to entrap young girls.  Lynn is consistently becoming more and more unhinged and though reluctant at first, Sir John is a slavering enraged maniac when he does spring into action.  We’re talking Frank Zito levels of nuttiness here.  It all leads up to a bizarro scuff up with a gang of mods, John and Lynn, and a couple of their friends… It is such a weird orgy of violence full of fire and lasers it is something you have to check out.  The denouement is a real headscratcher leaving the viewer wondering if Sir John was truly mad or at least has the tendency within him.  

CORRUPTION is also known as CARNAGE, both of which are fitting titles.  Peter Cushing gives an over-the-top sweaty, grimacing and maniacal performance and Sue Lloyd is equally unsettling as Lynn.  The mods that showed up at the end are a hoot especially the disturbing performance of David Lodge as Groper.  Doctor Who fans will recognize Val as Kate O’Mara who played The Rani in the serial Time and The Rani.  

The picture and sound quality are excellent and both versions look great.  The film can be viewed in the original US/UK cut or the “International” version with more nudity and blood.  Audio Commentary by Jonathan Rigby and David Miller.  Alternate scenes, interviews with: Billy Murray, Jan Waters, Wendy Varnals, and Peter Cushing (audio).  There are Trailers, still galleries, Hartford-Davis Filmography and the director’s shooting script.  There are a plethora of Grindhouse Releasing trailers with 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.

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