Some critics in England and France have long maintained that British director Terence Fisher, whose films dominated world markets in the 1950s and 60s, was one of the greatest directors of fantasy films in history. Since his death in 1980, Fisher's reputation has grown from relative obscurity and his influence on the development of the modern horror film has been widely recognized. However, Fisher's importance should not be limited to the context of the fantasy and horror film genres. His films should also be recognized as expressions of his generalizations about human spirituality.
This critical study of Fisher's films begins with an introduction that provides biographical information on his film career, summaries of all of the films he directed and examples of his impact on contemporary cinema. All of Fisher's films are analyzed in terms of their Christian and religious themes as well as their mythical sources. Chapters are devoted to Fisher's work on the subjects of Frankenstein, Dracula, curses (The Devil Rides Out), the ancient goddess (The Gorgon), the divided self (The Man Who Could Cheat Death) and the redeemer hero (The Stranglers of Bombay). The concluding chapter analyzes the role and influence of Biblical narratives in Fisher's films. Also included is a filmography; the work is fully indexed.