In the latest episode of Fragments of Fear Rachael and Peter once again return to the 1960s, delving into the genre’s Gothic strain with 1966 Gothic giallo hybrid, The Murder Clinic. Discussing the intersection between the Gothic and the giallo, they examine the effectiveness of this melding of genres ruminating on how the Gothic influenced the more contemporary styled gialli of the early 1970s. The duo also discuss the impact of Mario Bava’s Blood & Black Lace on The Murder Clinic, assessing changing trends in Italian horror and thriller cinema during this volatile period. Turning our attention to notable figures in the genre, they look at those instrumental to The Murder Clinic from the illustrious career of genre defining writer Ernesto Gastaldi to the colourful yet tragic life of lead actor William Berger:

Just check the synopsis out for this one and tell me you are not intrigued…

In 1870s England, the director of a mental hospital (Berger) is secretly carrying out skin grafts on the patients in an attempt to restore his sister-in-law’s mutilated face (it seems she accidentally fell into a lime pit). Meanwhile, a hooded killer is murdering people in the hospital with a straight razor.

Then, as Rachael and Peter note above, there is the William Berger factor – a face maybe best known to horror audiences for his appearance in Mario Bava’s ‘Five Dolls For An August Moon’, Berger’s story is as outlandish as any film – and tinged with plenty of tragedy.

Anyway, here’s a great trailer for the film:

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle