Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Which witch?

This one was for Ms. Spenser, who always wants more horror: Witchfinder General (1968) (AKA Conqueror Worm). I had heard a lot about it, and was under the impression that it was pretty intensely scary. I was misinformed.

It takes place during the English Civil War, where the Puritan Roundheads fought Royalist Cavaliers. In this fragmented society, the Witchfinder General (Vincent Price) made his living "detecting", then sexually torturing and executing witches at a few pounds per each. His companion is Robert Russell, a brutal sadist without Price's polish.

When Price goes after Hilary Dwyer, who is soldier Ian Ogilvy's intended, things get intense.

Now, there is plenty of creepiness in this movie, but it isn't that scary. It was filmed in color, mostly in broad daylight in the English woods (supposedly East Anglia, and maybe so). It all looked rather bucolic. My favorite part of the movie was people galloping around on horses, looking all romantic. We need to watch more knights-in-armor movies.

Price seems tired and not really into it. Russell, his creepy sidekick and enforcer, has to do most of the work being threatening. This came from Tigon Films, the cut-rate version of Amicus, who were the cut-rate version of Hammer. That might explain things.

So we were pretty disappointed with this one. I can't explain why it has any reputation. Maybe some kind of "not as bad as we expected" backlash?

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