After nearly a full year of suspense, the wait was over. I got my copy of Grindhouse Releasing’s 1968 Grand Moff Tarkin vehicle, CORRUPTION!
Let me preface the review by saying that I felt the advertising of this somewhat lost film went a little overboard, promising all this ‘gore and nudity’ like never before seen. Upon hitting PLAY you are given a choice of ‘ US/UK version ‘ or ‘International version’. After running the ‘International’ version I had wondered if a mistake was made at authoring and the version were inverted. It just didn’t seem to capture the intensity conveyed by its nifty reversible cover (which is awesome). But I feel this is not the fault of anyone but my own insensitivity to gore and flesh. This is no ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ but if you put it into perspective; big English actor (Mr. Cushing), the sixties, a comedian and a future East Ender, it was a pretty challenging work of cinema for its day.
That aside, Corruption is quite engaging and enjoyable. Story is pretty straight forward. This guy feels like crap because he accidentally got his trophy bride to be disfigured. Good thing he just happens to be a medical genius who can fix his woman’s disfigurement….At least temporary. She’s a vain chick who guilt trips him at every corner to keep her pretty. Oh, and to do this involves murdering other pretty chicks and cutting their heads off. Again, not the most amazing story, but quite effective in keeping things interesting and not feeling too hokey.
What really impressed me was Peter Newbrook’s cinematography and Don Deacon’s editing. Both went very well together. The English countryside has never looked so unintentionally grand and breathtaking. That’s right. These guys do an excellent job at emphasizing lush backdrops without seeming like their emphasizing lush backdrops. Your eyes are fixed on the characters yet you find yourself stealing glances around the characters when they’re not looking. Quite often times filmmakers come across as pompous narcissistic a-holes trying to add as much production value to low budget flicks as possible. That never feels the case here.
Music is also quite effective. Nothing like watching Grand Moff slit a topless whore’s throat open to some upbeat acid jazz. Quite jolly fun lads and lasses.
Huge kudos to Grindhouse for their excellent job mastering this film. I’m sure it’s never looked nor sounded so fine. Vibrant colors that I’m sure would’ve made Mr. Newbrook soil his pants had he seen. Grindhouse Releasing truly IS the Criterion of celluloid obscurity. As I mentioned earlier. The reversible packaging is awesome and Grindhouse trailers alone are worth the price of admission (quit teasing me with Gone with the Pope and announce a release date already will ya!).
If you appreciate cinema from an era long forgotten and want to witness just how much quality can be squeezed out of an old 1968 print, buy CORRUPTION. Just don’t expect buckets of blood and yards of skin to satisfy your sick, deranged minds.
-Orlando G Acosta for cinemabizarro