The Creeping Flesh (1973) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones unleashing a malevolent being on the scientist's family and friends.

  • A scientist comes to believe that evil is a disease of the blood and that the flesh of a skeleton he has brought back from New Guinea contains it in a pure form. Convinced that his wife, a Folies Bergere dancer who went insane, manifested this evil he is terrified that it will be passed on to their daughter. He tries to use the skeleton's blood to immunise her against this eventuality, but his attempt has anything but the desired result.


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  • Two horror movie icons team up for this bone-chilling 1973 film by Freddie Francis, a master of the genre. Peter Cushing plays a scientist who begins to believe that a skeleton he has brought back from New Guinea may be infused with evil. Worried that his family will be punished by this malevolent being, he scurries the pile of bones away. Unfortunately, his nefarious brother has other plans for the skeletal find. -Karen Nadeau

    Professor Emmanual Hildern returns from New Guinea with a skeleton which he believes will revolutionize mankind's theory of evolution, and perhaps win him the coveted Richter Prize. While having breakfast with his daughter, Penelope, Hildern reads a letter from his half-brother, James, which informs him that his wife, Marguerite, has died in James lunatic asylum. Hildern keeps this from Penelope, who believes that her mother died many years earlier. Hildern visits James, and questions him as to whether Marguerite's illness could be hereditary, and thus Penelope be at risk. James informs his brother that he has written a manuscript on that exact subject which he intends to submit for the Richter Prize. He also tells Hildern that he will no longer finance his expeditions. Hildern begins to clean the skeleton, but when he washes one of its fingers, the bones regrow a fleshy covering. Hildern severs the finger and keeps it in a jar. His books contain a New Guinean legend of an evil being buried in the earth which will come to life when it becomes wet. Hildern and his assistant, Wardelow, begin to experiment on the finger. They find that its blood contains strange black cells that attack and consume the cells in normal blood. Hildern hopes to produce a vaccine against Evil to protect mankind. He prepares a serum and inoculates a monkey, whose blood cells later seem protected against the evil black cells. Meanwhile, Penelope has stolen Hilderns keys and gone into her mothers old room, which she was forbidden ever to enter. There she learns that Marguerite was a Folies Bergere dancer, that she went insane, and was institutionalized. Hildern catches her; Penelope becomes hysterical. Terrified that he is seeing the seeds of her mothers illness in her, Hildern injects Penelope with his serum, hoping to protect her against insanity. Later that night, Wardelow finds that the experimental monkey has gone berserk, broken out of its cage, and wrecked part of the laboratory. Hildern rushes upstairs to his daughter, but Penelope has gone....

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