Anton Diffring’s Arse is on Fire…

…in Terence Fisher’s THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH.

Pfffft!

Sparky

Fiery

I try to find something to say about almost everything I see, but this wasn’t too interesting. It did have fun performances though (especially from Diffring), plus the burning backside and one or two nice images…

Court of Appeal

Hands Across the Table

The Green Room

Fisher’s very traditional approach is such that he can appear stodgy if the material doesn’t deliver regular thrills. And he has a tendency to cut together single shots where one character doesn’t look at the other for the longest time, until you suspect he’s mismatched the eye-lines… then at last Character A turns to face Character B and you realise he’d just been staring into space. Fisher does this in STOLEN FACE as well, the most recent Fisher-Hammer flick I watched, and it’s disconcerting in a way that doesn’t seem too helpful…

But there are lots of good qualities in Fisher’s work, as I’ve previously mentioned — and shall again dot dot dot…

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6 Responses to “Anton Diffring’s Arse is on Fire…”

  1. Cahiers du Cinema became quite interested in Fisher in the early 70’s as his career was comign to a close. It consistently reccomended such items as Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell, and my fave, the sublimely titled Frankenstein Created Woman.

    Fisher has always struck me as mise en scene degree zero.

  2. Fisher can move his people and camera around with some complexity, at least compared to most modern mainstream stuff — a lot of it is designed for economy, obviously, but two shots develop into singles, then back, and so on. But it’s all a bit rigid, and sometimes the dialogue and performances contribute to that feeling.

    Frankenstein MBD is one I want to discuss later, I’m just hiring the disc so I can get decent some images from it.

    I still think they should have used the title “AND Frankenstein Created Woman.” For full parodic/blasphemous effect.

  3. Possibly.

    What Scorsese loves about that entry in the series is that the Baron isolates the human soul and makes it visible — a large floating blue ball.

    In many ways the Baron is Fantomas and each Fisher Frankenstein an episode in a series meant to be seen as one total cinematic entity.

  4. Which makes it SO appropriate, that while most of the films end with an air of finality, with monster and doctor apparently dead, only to be resurrected next time, the last entry ends with him still active and declaring his intention of having another go. Which is lovely, the perfect non-conclusive conclusion. It allows us to IMAGINE all the subsequent films.

    I think, though, if you DO watch them all in a row, Evil of Frankenstein kind of wrecks any sense of continuity. Maybe you just need to exclude all the non-Fisher entries. (The Ralph Bates one, Horror of, is obviously a separate entity anyway).

  5. Yes, I would remove all non-Fisher entries.

    In some ways Fuest is Fisher’s id. His Wuthering Heights (absolutely superb, BTW) is remindful of Hammer in many respects. Timothy Dalton’s every appearance is violent and disruptive — much like The Creature.

  6. I think Fuest, purely in his approach to period on a low budget, gets close to Pasolini at times in that one. Anything that can be compared/contrasted to both Fisher and PPP has to be worth a look!

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