The Stranglers of Bombay (1959)

Genres - Horror, Mystery  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
  • AllMovie Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by

This infamous film from Hammer Films might not be "horror" in strict genre terms but it packs plenty of horror-styled shocks into its slender running time. The history-inspired script is basically a taut exotic-adventure narrative with some murder and torture tableaus sprinkled in for shock effect. As a historical document, it's a little dubious and racially insensitive but it works as a pulp-action tale with horror overtones. The Stranglers Of Bombay is also well-acted: Guy Rolfe, best known to horror fans as Mr. Sardonicus, makes a likeably atypical hero here and George Pastell turns in a mesmerizing performance as the religious-fanatic leader of the thuggee cult. Finally, The Stranglers Of Bombay is a very skillfully-made film thanks to the brisk, atmospheric direction of Terence Fisher. He tackles the narrative with style to burn and manages a number of gripping scenes along the way: the most memorable are the spooky ceremony scene that introduces the cult and a quietly horrific moment when the cultists descend on a camp of soldiers in the dead of night. All in all, The Stranglers Of Bombay is an effective bit of pulp filmmaking and a good choice for Hammer Films fans who want to see something besides a Dracula or Frankenstein film.