The Creeping Flesh (1972)

35mm film, Eastmancolor
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Freddie Francis.

Plot Summary

Dr Emmanuel Hildern believes that he has discovered the “essence of evil” contained in a grotesque, deformed skeleton he has retrieved from . The skeleton, all that remains of Shish Kang, known as “The Evil One”, offers Hildern the chance to prove that he can eradicate evil from the world by developing a vaccine, obtained from a that forms on the bones when exposed to water. But when he tries his serum on his uptight Victorian daughter Penelope it simply unleashes her pent up desires and deprivations. Penelope goes on the rampage and is finally captured and incarcerated by asylum administrator James Hildern, Emmanuel's half brother and a bitter rival. Learning of Emmanuel's plans, James steals the skeleton for his own nefarious ends.


Director: Freddie Francis
© World Film Services Limited MCMLXXII
Tigon Film Distributors Ltd presents an LMG World Film Services production
Executive Producers: Norman Priggen, Tony Tenser
Producer: Mike Redbourn
An Original Screenplay by: Peter Spenceley, Jonathan Rumbold
Director of Photography: Norman Warwick
Editor: Oswald Hafenrichter
Music Composed and Conductor by: Paul Ferris
Sound Recordists: Norman Bolland, Nolan Roberts
Wardrobe Supervisor: Bridget Sellers
Make-Up: Roy Ashton
Hairdresser: Barbara Ritchie
Art Director: George Provis

Christopher Lee (James Hildern)
Peter Cushing (Emmanuel Hildern)
Lorna Heilbron (Penelope Hildern)
George Benson (Waterlow)
Kenneth J. Warren (Charles Lenny)
Duncan Lamont (inspector)
Michael Ripper (carter)
Catherine Finn (Emily)
Hedger Wallace (Doctor Perry)
Harry Locke (barman)
Robert Swann (young aristocrat)
David Bailie (young doctor)
Maurice Bush (Karl)
Tony Wright (sailor)
Marianne Stone (female assistant)
Alexandra Dane (whore)
Jenny Runacre (Emmanuel's wife (Marguerite))
Larry Taylor (1st warder)
Martin Carroll (2nd warder)
Dan Meaden (lunatic)

Alternative Titles


See also
Pánico en el Transiberiano (1972)


CinemaTV Today no.10014 (13 January 1973) p.20 (UK)
“For the more critical addict; the plot may prove a little to [sic] intricate for those who expect horrors to be undemanding […] The story is imaginative, but inclined to be overloaded with incidental details that have the effect of making the plot seem more complicated than it already is. However, the horrors are presented with considerable subtlety (and economy) and the moments of suspense are very well sustained. It is a film of quality; more convincing than most of its contemporaries.” – from a review by Marjorie Bilbow


CinemaTV Today no.9965 (29 January 1972) p.1 – note (World casting – announcing the casting of Lorna Heilbron)
CinemaTV Today no.9966 (5 February 1972) p.12 – credits
CinemaTV Today no.9969 (26 February 1972) p.8 – note
CinemaTV Today no.10014 (13 January 1973) p.20 – credits, synopsis, review (The new films by Marjorie Bilbow)
The Dark Side November 1995 p.13 – review
Filmfacts vol.16 no.2 (1973) pp.42-43 – reprinted reviews
Halls of Horror no.27 p.19 – note
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.40 no.469 (February 1973) p.25 – credits, synopsis, review
TV Times 31 March – 6 April 1984 p.32 – review
Variety 14 March 1973 p.21 – credits, review

English Gothic (2nd Edition) pp.198-200 – illustrated review (by Jonathan Rigby)
Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.82 – credits, review
by Walt Lee p.79 – credits