Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Witchfinder General Review

witchfinder general

It was bound to happen, I finally ran into something produced by the British Film Industry. Well, to be fair this was a joint venture between British Film Productions and American International Pictures so it's not necessarily all Britain's fault. Witchfinder General was made in 1968 and starred none other than Vincent Price. This low budget film doesn't look as low budget as some of the movies that you see going straight to dvd these days.

The plot of this film follows a witch hunter in the middle of 1645 trying to hunt down evil doers and those that are demon possessed. What we end up seeing is how the hunt turns frightening when the obsessed hunter starts to kill people that are not witches at all!

There isn't a whole lot of gore in this film, but you get about as much as you could expect for the era that this film is made. You get some nice fight sequences, which I enjoyed. Aside from the final sequences and death of the hunter, this film is a slow moving ride with not a whole lot going on in terms of horror. There are a few moments to break up the monotony, but overall this is a dry dialogue driven horror film.

For those looking for some gratuitous nudity in film, you get some here, although it is very very tame. The R rating is definitely deserved as you see 1960's female nudity, which trumps anything new that I've seen in recent years.

Visually the film looks like a medieval epic, and I liked it for that. I liked the way the film seems to be dated and higher budget than it really had, and the editing brings everything together nicely.

Is it a scary film? Not really. It's kind of mild, and nothing harder than you might see on a Goosebumps show from the late 90's. I was falling asleep at one point in the film, but I woke myself up and suffered through. I can't say that this is a great film, but Vincent Price did make me laugh a few times, despite his serious tone. This film, for what it is, is ok, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're absolutely a huge Vincent Price fan or a fan of collecting classic horror films. I love the movie posters for the film, more than the actual release. It's not the worst film I've ever seen, but it's far from the best.

It's interesting to note that the director was made into a villain upon the release of this film. There are some torture scenes that are mild in today's standards but in 1968? It was enough to get film critics to nearly ban the film. While the United States let the full film play, the UK got a censored version. Some have called this one a cult classic since the director died from drugs at the age of 25. Many have come out to say that this is one of the greatest horror films of all time, but those are some real idiots...or maybe they're just glorifying something that they haven't seen in a while.

witchfinder general

12 comments:

JP "Strange and Shocking Turn Off Events" Wendel said...

The reason it's considered a classic is because of how perfectly it displays the very real horrors of religious obsession that seems far more relevent today than 1968. The fact that the character Vincent Price plays is based on a real live witchhunter whose exploits were so disturbing they couldn't physically film them back then just adds even more to it.

Sir Jorge said...

i live in the middle of "mormon" country, so i know what you mean by "real horrors" of religious obsession, however, i don't think this film illustrates it quite as well as others...such as the Jonestown documentary, or even the film where the believers were right and the end of the world actually came, and only they were spared...or maybe you're right, however, the film felt so slow at times...maybe I should rewatch The Crucible, now that's scary

marissa said...

This flick wasn't all that bad if you're into the British horror of the 60's. One of the better is 'The Wicker Man' with Christopher Lee.
Seriously this one is THE British classic genre movie.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Vincent price was American so whenever i watch this film i just imagine that everyone else in the film and everyone involved in the making of the film are American as well then i can enjoy it much more. That could be a consession for you in future Sir Jorge, if you must watch British made rubbish at least try to make sure its British made rubbish with an American star, that will make it more palatable. By the way, i want to bugger Hilary Dwyer (as she was in 1963 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Sir Jorge, i feel genuinely sorry for you living in the middle of "Mormon" country, if only Richard Dawkins could eradicate all the religion in the world it would be such a better place (even if he is British garbage). I wonder if "marissa" is a hot chick?, if she is i`d love to bugger her. By the way, with regards to "The Crucible", i want to bugger Winona Ryder (as she was in 1989 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously).

Sir Jorge said...

jervaise, you gotta tone it down with saying stuff about female commentators, i don't care about all the other chicks, including winona ryder (a stone cold fox) but you'll scare away people from commenting if you're too abrasive.

oh and Dawkins is ok...but I don't think he's right...I'm actually a Christian, but don't hold that against me.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Sorry Sir Jorge, its just that i always let my rampaging heterosexuality get the better of me. By the way, i`m appalled to hear that you are a a Christian, i`m a pious atheist and an anti-theist who genuinely believes that religion in all its ludicrous forms is an abomination that must be completely eradicated from the world if the hu-girl race is to ever reach its full potential, but as least we both love horror movies and gorgeous sexy birds so we do have those two very important things in commom.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

The last word of the previous com-girl-t should`ve been "common" not "commom", maybe i was thinking of my own "mom" at that mo-girl-t because i used to really fancy her as well.

marissa said...

Ah well, I'm used to that online :D
Don't let me go all Herschell Gordon Lewis on your ass, Jervaise. I'll eat your innards like a Fulci zombie. And my boyfriend is built like a good looking Paul Naschy ; )

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Sir Jorge, marissa has verified that shes not offended by anything i say so i`m sure you wont mind if i respond to her com-girl-t. marissa, baby, kitten, darlin`: Paul Naschy, Herschell Gordon Lewis and Lucio Fulci have all made or appeared in some truly great horror movies but i dont really see how that relates to me desperately wanting to bugger "you" marissa?. Once again Sir Jorge my apologies, its just that marissa would obviously love to be buggered by me otherwise the gorgeous little sexpot wouldn`t have bothered responding to my com-girl-t.

Sir Jorge said...

haha, you guys are fun, it's nice to see that people actually venture to my site, my poor site

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Sir Jorge, why did it take you 17 months to reply to these com-girl-ts ?.