Released in England under the title Captain Clegg, the film was rarely seen for 4 decades. Peter Cushing is on fine form as is the ever-reliable Patrick Allen and Oliver Reed gives a nice performance as an innocent young man as if! As the Captain gets into his investigation, mysterious swamp phantoms cloud up the real issue which seems plain enough to see. Yvonne Romain, who starred in the similarly anemic 'Curse of the Werewolf 1960 ' plays the subject of pirates' desire and the daughter of Captain Clegg Peter Cushing , and her co-star from that earlier film although they never shared scenes , Oliver Reed is mostly wasted in the under-written role as innocent Harry, her would-be suitor. In addition to horror, Hammer also produced many mysteries. Hammer combined all the elements: Great period costumes and sets, diabolical deeds, supernatural elements, plus actors Oliver Reed Paranoic, and Peter Cushing the Hammer Horror mainstay … but Night Creatures is not a horror film. Some people may be familiar with Hammer; a British film studio well known for their horror films, particularly their remakes of classic Universal Studios monster movies.
Perhaps Dr Blyss, the benign vicar of the quiet village of Dymchurch, knows the truth about the ruthless pirate and smuggler who lies buried in the village graveyard and can unravel the phenomenon of the curse of Captain Clegg. Like Walter, thanks for the Dr. Collier suspects that the kind village priest, the Reverend Dr. The film is worth watching if you like any of the other Hammer Horror films. He then tears off Blyss's collar to reveal the rope burns from an unsuccessful hanging, exposing the parson as Clegg.
Then we can dump the awful 4×3 pan and scan versions. It's definitely a must-see and fans of period films filled with suspense and adventure will feel right at home here. With the always reliable Peter Cushing in the lead, plus able support from Hammer regular Michael Ripper, a young Oliver Reed, and buxom beauty Yvonne Romain, and a plot that includes some spooky elements, the film will undoubtedly be of interest to avid Hammer horror fans, but it does suffer somewhat from a script that features no easily identifiable good guys or villains: Captain Clegg and his gang are clearly ruthless, bloodthirsty criminals, as evidenced from the opening scene in which they punish a man by slitting his ears, cutting out his tongue, and leaving him to die on a desert island and, as pirates, I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their nefarious behaviour ; meanwhile, the king's men—who are technically the good guys upholding the law—are obviously intended to be seen by the viewer as the film's baddies. In the tradition of an episode of Scooby Doo, the townsfolk have been dressing up as the Marsh Phantoms in order to scare away or kill anybody who gets too close to uncovering and ending the smuggling operation. The film also makes an interesting point of how our past actions can affect us in the future. As a sort of adventure and historical melodrama, it works well enough, as it really positions viewers in an interesting place by making the smugglers the most charming characters.
But it's a wonderful little movie. The irreplaceable Michael Ripper gets a bigger role here than in most of his films and shines too with a nice line in sarcasm. Also, the opening song and the image of the Scarecrow, riding past a real scarecrow as he rode off into the night, has stayed with me all these years. Collier, who spent years chasing Clegg, becomes suspicious of Blyss when the mulatto later makes a second attempt on the parson's life. Possibly one element of Hammer's early horror films Curse of Frankenstien, Dracula that really got them noticed was the infusion of bright red blood and gruesome gore into otherwise sedate pictures. Do we have Night Creatures to thank for a lovable cartoon series that continues to this very day? Frankenstein and an archaeologist in their Mummy remake.
The film is near perfect and very enjoyable, as it delivers its mix of action, well-handled suspense and old school melodrama blends together smoothly delivering high doses of entertainment. Night Creatures gets my highest recommendation. The film then flashes ahead some time, and we find ourselves in a small English coastal village that houses Clegg's corpse six feet under. Somehow, it took me more than 40 years to catch up with Night Creatures. This was Disney at its adventurous best. Harry is led away to Collier's ship as a hostage but escapes when the Marsh Phantoms appear, distracting the sailors. No sooner have the last rays of light left the sky than he is assaulted by a group of skeletons on horseback who promptly knock the poor man into the water thus drowning him.
There, Blyss and Harry both tell her they were already aware of her relationship to Clegg. Sadly, this makes it substantially less interesting than Hammer's better known output. Even if that means to face the curse of Captain Clegg. A young and almost unbelievably handsome Oliver Reed delivers an arch and catlike performance that with have viewers rolling in the aisles on one hand and swooning on the other. Sad for all of us. When the mask comes off it is the face of the fine actor Patrick McGoohan.
Unfortunately, the ultra-cool Marsh Phantoms barely show up much, and it just factors into the overall feeling of disappointment this one leaves with me still. Everyone knows about them, almost all are afraid of them and some have actually seen them. This set was re-released on Blu-ray September 13, 2016. Still, it's certainly worth a look from any Hammer fan. The story is well constructed the wild card of the Marsh Phantoms, however, ends predictably. I have heard that the reason this film is not available is that Universal I think has the rights to it and refuses to do anything with it.
She only made a handful of films yet she may possibly be the most beautiful woman who ever appeared on screen. The title has a dual meaning — referring to the mysterious Marsh Phantoms and the smugglers who operate out of the nearby town. While Britains's Hammer film company made their reputation with remakes of the hoary old horror staple potboilers such as their Draculas and their Frankensteins, their true strength was in the creation of relatively small budget genre films that shone with matchless originality and talent. Blyss, and the Scarecrow became a supporting character instead of the lead. Syn 1937 , which starred George Arliss as the mysterious smuggler Reverend Doctor Christopher Syn — based on the novels by Russell Thorndike.