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  • The Flesh and the Fiends

    The Flesh and the Fiends

    ★★★

    John Gilling's version of the Burke and Hare story is an improvement over Tod Slaughter's 1948 version, even though it devotes more time to the physician who purchased the corpses and unecessarily adds a virginal niece, presumably to counterbalance a young Billie Whitelaw's brassy strumpet. Donald Pleasance and George Rose make the most of their showy roles as the graverobbing duo, but it's a shame Gilling's screenplay only added depth to Peter Cushing's Knox in the final reel.

  • The Grandmaster

    The Grandmaster

    ★★★

    A stunningly photographed biopic in which every shot is achingly beautiful (as you would expect from a perfectionist like Wong Kar Wai), but it's emotionally remote until the final reel. Leung and Zhang are flawless and the fight scenes are often astonishing, but it just doesn't come together to provide a satisfying whole.

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  • The Invisible Man Returns

    The Invisible Man Returns

    ★★★

    The Invisible Man Reappears would seem to be a more appropriate title but, as Claude Rains’ character failed to survive past the first movie’s end credits, a new character must relive his ordeal. Step forward a young Vincent Price, whose tones are even more distinctive than his predecessors, and who descends into madness with camp flamboyance. He’s supported by a decent cast that is led by Cedric Hardwicke and Cecil Kellaway, two thorns either side of the rosy Nan Grey,…

  • Hell's House

    Hell's House

    ★★½

    Hell’s House is an independent picture which has the feel of a Warner Brothers product, not only because it stars Warner refugees Bette Davis and Pat O’Brien but because of the crime and prison – or reform school – subject matter. Although Davis and O’Brien headline, it’s the ill-fated Junior Durkin, playing a good kid who ends up in reform school, who has most of the screen time. A pacey and tough drama that stands up well to the second-tier features churned out by the majors.