Horror Movie Review: Crucible of Horror

Good afternoon all! I hope everyone if doing great on this Saturday. As promised, I am going to start my review of the horror movies on the DVD set I mentioned in a previous post. I have a feeling this is going to be painful, very painful, but I shall push on. I do want to mention, I will be relying a lot on IMDB.com for the film information. Actors, director, ECT. I want to give credit where it is due. I have a lot of useless information in my brain, but all of these specifics for these movies are not part of it.

I started this slide into Oblivion with a 1971 British horror movie, Crucible of Horror. It was directed by Viktors Ritelis. He directed several TV series for Australian television and a few other movies. It was written by Olaf Pooley, who is a character actor and someone with a name that is hilariously fun to say. It stars Michael Gough. Most of you will know him as Alfred from the Batman movie of 1989. It also stars Yvonne Mitchell and Sharon Gurney. The cast is good and work decently with the script they have. The basic story is that Gough plays the cruel patriarch of this typical middle-class family in England. Gough’s character has total control of this family and keeps the women of the family in fear of his next move. There is a son, played by Rupert Eastwood, who also shares in his father’s joy of controlling the family. The women of the family grow tired of his strictness and abuse and decide that something must be done. He must die.

Now, I want to go into a little detail on how I watch these movies and what I look for. I have a great love of bad films. There is nothing better than watching a movie and seeing no craft, no competence and bad acting. Now having said that, all of these things have to be unintentional. It quits being funny when all these things are on purpose. (For example The Sharknado series). There has to be a true attempt on all parts and when that attempt fails, that is where the humor is. This can come from the director not knowing what he or she is doing, having no budget, having c-rate actors and even worse writers. Their vision of their film is way bigger than their means to produce it. Those are the gems.

Now another kind of bad movie, is the boring bad movie. We have all seen those. There is nothing noteworthy or fun about it. Too much exposition with nothing ever happening. Crucible of Horror walks this line throughout its hour and thirty one minute run time. It is a slow paced movie. It is typical of the British Horror movies that I have seen before. No gore, no real disturbing scenes. There is an intensity though that you can see through the low budget. Gough is really great and the evil patriarch. He has a quiet evil that you can see in his eyes, not just his actions. There are a lot of time killers in this film. Scenes of driving, slow camera pans and atmosphere shots. Some work as far as building the tension, but some are just there to fill out the movie to a feature length. Overall, the story is good and the acting is fine. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say it is a bit confusing. If you are looking for any time of gore or jump scares, you will not find those here. It just methodically tells a story with some odd camera work near the end. Lighting effects and some quick cuts to make you wonder what the hell is going on. If I were to rate it and I suppose I need to have a rating system for these reviews, I would give it 5 stars out of 10? I will come up with something more creative than stars. That is just boring really.

Well this is my first review! there will be more shortly. I will dive into music and video games as well. Let me know what you think! Take care!

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