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Captain Clegg
Night Creatures

UK 1962
produced by
John Temple-Smith for Hammer, Major Pictures
directed by Peter Graham Scott
starring Peter Cushing, Yvonne Romain, Patrick Allen, Oliver Reed, Michael Ripper, Martin Benson, David Lodge, Derek Francis, Daphne Anderson, Milton Reid, Jack MacGowran, Terry Scully, Sydney Bromley, Peter Halliday, Rupert Osborne, Gordon Rollings, Bob Head, Colin Douglas, Gerry Crampton, Harold Gee
screenplay by Anthony Hinds (as John Elder), additional dialogue by Barbara S.Harper, based on the novel Dr.Syn by Russell Thorndike, music by Don Banks, special effects by Les Bowie, musical direction: Philip Martell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A little English village at the Channel is flourishing excluxively thanks to smuggling goods from France into the country - much to the dismay of the inland revenue, who eventually send a platoon of soldiers led by Captain Collier (Patrick Allen) to investigate and bring all the smugglers to justice ... but understandably, the soldiers are welcomed with dismay by the villagers, all but the kind-hearted reverend Blyss (Peter Cushing) and the local Squire Cobtree (Derek Francis), who is totally oblivious to all the smuggling going on.

However the soldiers are not able to find the slightest of traces of the contraband goods they suspect in the village - simply because the whole operation is way too well-organized thanks to a system of secret catacombs under the village, a legend about the Marsh Phantoms the smugglers have adopted to scare off strangers, and innocent-looking sentinels placed all over the surroundings to make sure the soldiers do not make a move the smugglers don't know about. And who has organized it all ?

Mild-mannered reverend Blyss, that's who, who can be quite cruel and cold-hearted to those who oppose him and who is really the infamous and thought dead pirate Captain Clegg.

After much to and fro that involves amongst others a love story between Clegg's daughter Imogene (Yvonne Romain) and the Squire's son (Oliver Reed) and a treacherous innkeeper (Martin Benson), and the opening of Clegg's rave only to find it empty, Blyss is eventually identified as Clegg by the Mulatto (Milton Reid) - a man whom he once left to die on a dessert island with his tongue cut out and his ears cut - and can only just escape the soldiers with the help of coffinmaker Mipps (Michael Ripper) - but the Mulatto wants vengeance quite badly and ultimately hurls a deadly spear into Mipps' direction, which Clegg catches instead, saving his friend by giving his own life ...


Captain Clegg is a nice film, no doubt, the acting is almost uniformly great, the sets are convincing enough for a period picture of this scale, and it's totally atmospheric no doubt ... yet the film is also far from great, the script is somewhat incoherent and lacks proper pace, the whole Marsh Phantom subplot seems a bit silly, the love story is rather on the cheesy side ... and the film seems way too indecisive about the titular character, who is at times a loving father and caring man, at other times a ruthless criminal, two extremes that just don't go together (but of course, thanks to Peter Cushing's talents, the character comes to life nevertheless).

Actually, you will probably kind of like this film, just provided you don't expect too much ...


Previously, Russell Thorndike's source novel was filmed as Doctor Syn in 1937.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD