The She Beast
Transylvania under the People’s Republic as in ages past the witch superstition.
A very droll and amusing construction (Von Helsing is a dispossessed Count, a bright young English couple pass through on their honeymoon).
The second unit director brings with him Mel Welles as the innkeeper Ladislav Groper.
Ian Ogilvy, Barbara Steele, John Karlsen, et al.
It “isn’t a good film by any stripe” (Sight and Sound).
A very fine analysis of Furie’s The Ipcress File, mind control is the idea, Dr. Monserrat (Boris Karloff) invents an electronic apparatus that gives it to him, his wife and colleague (Catherine Lacey) is however not of the same mind as to the proper scope of its use, they are an aged, poor couple, he works as a hypnotherapist out of their London flat.
The subject (Ian Ogilvy) is bored with the club scene and might have stepped out of Buńuel’s Simon of the Desert, his physical sensations provide a vicarious thrill for the couple.
“Crude filmmaking and rotten acting” from “possibly the most overrated figure in British genre film,” says Michael Atkinson (Village Voice).
Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price), a sobersided picaresque rogue, toys with the idea of a national appointment as he roams the English countryside on a warrant from Parliament and a mission dating back as far as James I.
He hangs a priest at the town’s insistence and is paid in silver for it. The dead man has a pretty niece Hopkins toys with, too. She has a lover (Ian Ogilvy) in the Roundhead army who takes a solemn vow of revenge.
The absolute positions of the several parties, starving Cavaliers and feasting Roundheads, Hopkins’ sturdy imposture and his man Stearne’s instantaneous brutishness, the lover’s intransigence, the credulity of the people, make up all the elements of the drama, the thing is very like a Western.
Instruments of torture are not used, only bloodied fists and the sharp prick for witch’s marks, also the ordeal by immersion or hot iron, finally burning.