CANNON MONTH 2: The Ghoul (1975)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ghoul was not produced by Cannon. It’s a Tyburn Film Productions movie. It was, however, released on video VHS in Germany by Cannon/VMP.

Tyburn didn’t make all that many movies. In their attempt to be Hammer after that studio stopped making movies, they put out seven films: Legend of the WerewolfTales That Witness MadnessPersecutionSherlock Holmes and the Masks of DeathMurder ElitePeter Cushing: A One-Way Ticket to Hollywood and this film.

Dr. Lawrence (Peter Cushing) was once a man of faith but now he’s hiding inside a rural country estate, keeping his son away from the world, the son who learned how to be a cannibal as Lawrence did missionary work there.

While Cushing’s wife died in 1971, by all accounts he never got over it. According to co-star Veronica Carlson, director Freddie Francis made Cushing do multiple takes during the scene where he talks about his love for his late wife, an experience that caused the actor, cast and crew to be reduced to tears. This feels like a Wiliam Castle BS story, however, as Francis would have already known this, having directed Cushing as Arthur Grimsdyke in Tales from the Crypt, a movie during which Cushing suggested that he speak to a photo of his recently deceased wife Violet Helene Beck.

Writer Anthony Hinds has just as much a pedigree for British horror as Francis and Cushing, having written The Brides of DraculeThe Curse of the WerewolfThe ReptileFrankenstein Created WomanScars of DraculaTaste the Blood of Dracula and Night Creatures. He wrote this using his John Elder name.

Veronica Carlson stars as the final girl of sorts, Daphne Wells Hunter. She also came from Hammer films like Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and The Horror of Frankenstein. John Hurt shows up as a frightening handyman, Gwen Watford as Ayah the Indian servant, Alexandra Bastedo (The Blood Spattered Bride) as Daphne’s friend Angela and Ian McCulloch is on hand years before he would challenge the bloodiest cinema Italy could create.

In the U.S., this was released as Night of the Ghoul and The Thing in the Attic. If the setting seems familiar, the movie was set in the 1920s because the sets of The Great Gatsby were still standing at Pinewood Studios.

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