Sometimes a man will do anything for love – go to a party after a long day at work, allow your girlfriend to be photographed in sexy poses by a photographer that has other things in mind or killing young women so that hemight steal their glands in order to heal their girlfriend’s damaged face. Such a man is Peter Cushing’s character Sir John Rowan, a plastic surgeon who is a bit older than his paramour played by the talented and very beautiful, Sue Lloyd. It is easy to see why Rowan would want to keep a hold on her as despite the fact that she is quite stunning, she is everything that he is not – young, carefree and spur of the moment. Being older, he knows what he has and when she has the accident that damages her face, an accident to which he was partly at fault, Rowan sees it as the perfect opportunity to play both boyfriend and saviour.
Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis, the movie is definitely a product of its times with hippies and wild-partying youth who know little of anything and it is quite the humourous thing seeing Cushing in amidst all of that, in suit and tie and trying to fit in while clearly not being able to do so. How his character Rowan ever landed a woman like Lynn in the first place seems like it could be a movie all on its own as it would be completely fascinating. The two have nothing in common until he starts killing for her so that she might regain the beauty she lost and at that point they are no longer even lovers but partners in crime.
The horror in this picture comes not necessarily from Cushing, whose actions are horrific in nature, but from Lloyd. Cushing does what he feels he must to hold onto what he has and to redress a wrong that he feels he can never repay. Lloyd on the other hand, when she learns of what Rowan has done, soon becomes an active participant in it, egging the man on to kill and even going so far as to pick out the victims. By the end of the film, Lynn is a different person altogether, no longer the woman who just wants to have a little fun while her man looks after her. Now she is a cold-blooded temptress, simultaneously wooing and threatening Rowan with hew wiles and what she knows. By then last act of the picture, Rowan has no choice but to go along with Lynn which leads to a truly spectacular ending that has to be seen to be believed.
Good performances, especially from Cushing as the doctor that just seemed out of his depth more often than not, made this film something special, if a little odd at times. This is not the usual fare that Cushing usually appeared in and that makes Corruption a movie that is a must see for any fan of the man or British horror.
4 out of 5