“I want to prove that science can over come death.”
There have been some strange things going on in Cornwall. People are missing and the doctor’s office was broken into. Some of his supplies stolen. It’s the topic of conversation everywhere. The latest missing person is George Beale (Andy Alston).
Dr. Peter Blood (Kieron Moore) has just retuned from studying in Vienna. His father is Robert Blood (Ian Hunter), the town doctor. His nurse is Linda Parker (Hazel Court). A search is organized for the missing man. Peter volunteers to assist police Sgt Cook (Kenneth J. Warren) in looking for Beale. Peter’s reasons are sinister. He needs to keep Cook from finding out what he is really doing in town.
The village is unaware but Peter is responsible for the missing villagers and the missing supplies. He has set up a make shift laboratory in the town’s old tin mine. He injects them with curare and brings him to the mine. Once there he can conduct his experiments in private. He wants to take the heart from one person and put it into another, thus bringing them back to life. An exchange of a worthless person for someone Peter deems worthy.
Beale manages to crawl out of the caves. He is found by villagers. When Peter gets there he injects him with curare and pronounces him dead. Beale is taken to G.F. Morton (Gerald Lawson). He runs Morton’s mortuary. Peter says he will do the post mortem on Beale. Morton goes to bed that night but is awakened by a sound. He goes downstairs to the morgue and finds Peter performing surgery on Beale. He sees that Beale is still alive. When he tries to stop Peter, Peter accidentally kills him. In the struggle the heart is ruined and Peter must find a new one.
Another person has been found supposedly dead. An old miner named Tregaye (Fred Johnson). Sergeant Cook asks Peter to perform the post mortem. Linda comes into the morgue and finds Peter removing Tregaye’s heart. She also sees that Tregaye is alive and the horror of what Peter is doing hits her.
“Doctor Blood’s Coffin” was released in 1961 and was directed by Sidney J. Furie. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d be too comfortable going to a doctor named Dr. Blood. Just saying.
The movie was actually pretty good. Good pacing, good acting, an interesting story. It’s been compared to both Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and classic Hammer studio movies. OK. Not a bad neighborhood to be in. Frankenstein is a small stretch but not much. Hammer is reasonable especially since it is a British film.
There really is no mystery about what is going on and who is responsible. It may start out that way, but you learn fast who the bad guy is. What the movie is relaying is the tenuous hold that Peter has on his sanity and how it unfolds to madness. There is a monster involved. I mean besides Dr. Blood and towards the end it is rather creepy. Hubris usually is.