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CRUCIBLE OF HORROR (1970)

Similar in tone and style to the Hammer and Amicus films of the 60’s, CRUICIBLE OF HORROR can’t seem to match the quality and plods along at a lackadaisical pace making it barely watchable. 


Eastwood (Michael Gough) is the overbearing patriarch of the family of four. He gets along fine with his ambitious son, but as for his wife Edith (Yvonne Mitchell) and daughter Jane (Sharon Gurney), it’s his way or the highway. 


This includes beatings to both and an unhealthy sexual desire for Jane. So, the mother and daughter conspire to put an end to their torment by murdering him, but staging it to look like a suicide. 


But just when they think they have pulled off the perfect murder, they discover that dear daddy isn’t dead at all and he has plans for the traitorous duo. 


It’s a fine premise, but it’s unfortunately bungled by director Viktors Ritelis, who makes some very odd stylistic choices especially in the framing and execution of the scenes. It comes across amateurish with a need for some judicious editing. The film also reeks of a low budget, as the action seems almost exclusively confined to the house even when the story doesn’t warrant it. 


I found myself bored, but continued watching. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger, this train wreck amused me.  However, with that said, I can’t recommend CRUICIBLE OF HORROR, even for the curious.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014