Friday, December 9, 2011

Witchfinder General (1968)

Director: Michael Reeves

Starring: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies, Patrick Wymark, Wilfrid Brambell, Hilary Heath, Robert Russell

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Year's Most Violent Film! [

Plot: England is torn in civil strife as the Royalists battle the Parliamentary Party for control. This conflict distracts people from rational thought and allows unscrupulous men to gain local power by exploiting village superstitions. One of these men is Matthew Hopkins, who tours the land offering his services as a persecutor of witches. Aided by his sadistic accomplice John Stearne, he travels from city to city and wrenches confessions from "witches" in order to line his pockets and gain sexual favors. When Hopkins persecutes a priest, he incurs the wrath of Richard Marshall, who is engaged to the priest's niece. Risking treason by leaving his military duties, Marshall relentlessly pursues the evil Hopkins and his minion Stearne.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!

#69 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

I remember liking this many years ago but after such a long absence and watching it again, I REALLY dig this film. First of all, and I LOVE Vincent Price, It's got Price reigning in his acting. He can be over the top sometimes and at least in this picture he's closer to being a real, evil dude that's more like a believable person rather than some typical monster. The story is well handled and doesn't get ridiculous. I LOVED Paul Ferris' score. It's gorgeous. Too bad he didn't do many films. The same can be said about the director, Reeves. This was his second and last before he died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 25! I hate it when shit like that happens to promising talent. The atmosphere is thick and rich and the pacing is right on target. It's a real winner with great performances (I almost forgot to mention how good Olgilvy was) and a fun 86 minute ride.

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