Contrary to the 1964 Hammer Film's title, THE GORGON, the monster named Magaera (a.k.a. Megara), who menaces Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the movie, is more accurately known as one of the "Furies" from Greek Mythology.
The most famous of the gorgons (which means "dreadful") of course, was Medusa; the other two were Stheno and Euryale. Magaera, on the other hand, means "the jealous one", and was aptly named for her role in the Hammer film. Never letting a man out of her sight (pun half-intended), she made sure anyone gazing at her horrifying visage was turned to stone. Even one of the men, who was able to avert his gaze after looking at Mageura only for an instant, eventually found himself literally cracking up.
|Publicity still from Hammer's THE GORGON (1964).|
|Detail of a reference shot taken for make-up artist Roy Ashton.|
After watching this movie on TV for the first time, this impressionable young Monster Kid, was properly creeped out by the ugly hag with snakes for hair, made quite terrifyingly real by make-up wizard Roy Ashton. The grotesque incongruity of female-gone-ugly and frightful image was enough to send the hairs on the back of my neck standing up!
You may like to know that I reconciled myself with THE GORGON after another couple of viewings years later, and it has since become one of my favorite Hammer horrors. Ironic, ain't it?
|A publicity still from THE GORGON.|
|The film was featured in CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN #6.|