Road Rash Reviews

Horrors of the Black Museum Review****-

Cert 12 | 82 mins | 2024

4 star restoration of a cheesy horror B-movie.

Horrors of the Black Museum is a 1959 British-American horror film directed by Arthur Crabtree (Ivanhoe, Death Over My Shoulder) and written by Herman Cohen (The Headless Ghost, Craze) and Aben Kandel (Konga, Berserk).

This new restoration of this fifties classic horror is available in the UK on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 15th January 2024, courtesy of Studiocanal.

“Not that I enjoy being sordid, but they pay me a great deal of money for my analysis of crime.”

Horrors of the Black Museum sets out it’s stall right from the start. In the opening sequence we see the lovely Gail (Dorinda Stevens – Jack the Ripper, Night Train to Paris) receiving a mystery parcel in the mail. How exciting it must be from a secret admirer. She opens the box to reveal a pair of binoculars. ‘Let me see’ says her roommate Peggy (Malou Pantera –  Female Fiends), but they are Gail’s and she wants to use them first. As she screams and falls to the floor, a pair of spikes are revealed protruding from the eye holes.

As Peggy is interviewed by Inspector Lodge (John Warwick – Demonstrator) and Supt. Graham (Geoffrey Keen – Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me), we learn that this is the third such brutal killing in the last two weeks. They have no real leads, but the apparatus used reminds them of their “Black Museum”, where they keep historic murder weapons. This is inaccessible to the public however and nothing has been taken.

They are interrupted by journalist and crime writer Edmond Bancroft (Michael Gough – Batman Forever, Top Secret), looking for the latest scoop. But is that all he is after? As he returns home, we see him with his seemingly brainwashed assistant Rick (Graham Curnow – She Always Gets Their Man), in their own version of the Black Museum, with exhibits provided by local antique dealer Aggie (Beatrice Varley – Jassy, Holiday Week).

What are they up to and will Scotland Yard be able to work it out and put an end to the brutal killing spree?

“With no apparent motive, a deranged killer operating alone. Using weapons similar to those we have in out Black Museum.”

Horrors of the Black Museum is a hugely entertaining film, with plenty of gore and peril and cheerfully over the top as films of the era often were. The acting is very good and it’s all terribly British.

It’s also a really good story, if a little confused in places. As the warning at the start states, it does contain historical attitudes which modern viewers may find offensive (although if you can’t work that out for yourself you should probably just stick to watching new stuff designed for snowflakes).

There’s lots to enjoy with this release, there’s a new interview and commentary as well as some black and white art cards and it’s a good restoration that really does the film justice. A great watch and well worth adding to your collection.

“As your physician, your health is my responsibility, but I need more cooperation from you. You can’t go on hunting down maniacal killers, writing books about them, taunting Scotland Yard and still enjoy normal health.”

HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 15th January 2024

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DirectorArthur Crabtree
StarringMichael Gough, Graham Curnow, Geoffrey Keen, John Warwick
Available to buy on : Own Horrors of the Black Museum on DVD Own Horrors of the Black Museum on Blu-Ray
Category: Blu-ray, Digital, dvd, film, Review