April 18, 2014

Films

Curse of the Crimson Altar – 1968 | 89 mins | Horror | Colour

Plot Synopsis

Curse of the Crimson Altar

Lacklustre witchcraft suspense story set in an English country house and loosely-based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dreamin the Witch House.” Director Vernon Sewell never gets to grips with either the muddled script or meandering pacing of this Tigon/AIP co-production. Despite a strong cast including the strong screen presence of Christopher Lee,the film is notable as one of 81-year-old Boris Karloff’s final features, as he commendably underplays his quirky role whizzing about in a wheelchair.

Antiques dealer Robert Manning (Mark Eden) visits the foreboding Craxted Lodge in the English countryside village of Greymarsh in the hope of finding his missing brother, Peter. There he meets a strange group of characters who have arrived for the annual burning celebration of Lavinia -the Black Witch of Greymarsh burned at the stake in the 17th century. Soon,murder and intrigue befall the lodge as members begin to disappear. In fact the owner (Christopher Lee) is taking revenge against the Manning family descendants on behalf of ancestress Lavinia. Meanwhile, Robert has nightmarish dreams featuring Lavinia, her face painted green, her lips blood-red, and wearing a ram’s horn headpiece.

Production Team

Vernon Sewell: Director
John Coquillon: Cinematography
Michael Southgate: Costume Design
Howard Lanning: Film Editing
Pauline Worden: Makeup Department
Ann Fordyce: Makeup Department
Elizabeth Blatin: Makeup Department
Peter Knight: Original Music
Louis M Heyward: Producer
Derek Barrington: Production Design
adapted by Jerry Sohl: Script
Henry Lincoln: Script
Gerry Levy: Script
Mervyn Haisman: Script
Dennis Lanning: Sound Department
Kevin Sutton: Sound Department

Cast

Boris Karloff: Prof John Marshe
Christopher Lee: Morley
Mark Eden: Robert Manning
Barbara Steele: Lavinia Morley
Michael Gough: Elder
Virginia Wetherell: Eve Morley
Rosemarie Reede: Esther
Derek Tansley: Judge



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