Saturday, October 25, 2014

Crucible of Horror (1971)

Original title: The Corpse

Director: Viktors Ritelis

Writer: Olaf Pooley

Composer: John Hotchkis

Starring: Michael Gough, Yvonne Mitchell, Sharon Gurney, Simon Gough, David Butler, Olaf Pooley, Nicholas Jones, Mary Hignett, Howard Goorney

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The nightmare never ends!

Plot: A mother and daughter hatch a scheme to murder their family's domineering and sadistic patriarch.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

There are two things that hurt this picture.  The first is the dreadfully long running time.  91 minutes felt like 120.  The story is more suited to either an hour episode of something like ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS or, better still, it could be a great 20-30 minute segment in an Amicus horror anthology film.  The other thing, the story is very reminiscent of the excellent French horror thriller, LES DIABOLIQUE (1955).   I just remembered how little music is in the film.  The first half hour feels like forever but that could be a good thing.  We get to spend time with the Eastwoods in what must be a painful way to live.  They're boring as hell and Walter (Gough) is a right bastard who's job it seems is to make his family miserable and he's good at it.  If that was the goal, for us to feel like one of them, then the filmmakers succeeded in spades but it's still a slugfest to get through it.  It does pick up when his wife and daughter decide to do something about it...but then it continues to drag.  It's currently on Netflix streaming.  As a side note, the current 1970s horror films on Netflix are pretty piss poor.  There's a great site,, that lets you search what's on Netflix in a MUCH better manner than Netflix's own site. Do a search for horror and then narrow it to just the 1970s and you'll see how little there is (41 films) and how low the quality of them is (not in picture quality but in how good they generally are).  There are a few gems but they're rare.  It's even worse when you're a horror junkie like me who has seen most of them already.  I'm going through them slowly but the ones I haven't seen are boring as hell (usually).

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