Monday, May 11, 2009

Witchfinder General

Well I finally found and purchased "Witchfinder General" on DVD.
I discovered that Vincent Price isn't really on the screen that much, considering he has the title role, but.....
Ian Ogilvy as "Richard Marshall", a soldier in Cromwell's army, is really the main character of this film.
I grabbed a few images from the film featuring Mr. Price as Matthew Hopkins. I can see why it's not really classified as a "Vincent Price" movie, because he plays his character VERY seriously without any of the quirkiness or campiness sometimes known in his other characters.

Apparently on the first day of shooting, Mr. Price fell off his horse and retreated to his hotel room (he stayed in the "Dicken's Room") for the rest of the day where he rested wearing a white nightshirt and nightcap! He refused to see an English doctor saying they were all quacks!

Here's a great sinister facial expression:
The character to the left was Hopkin's assistant, and man was HE EVIL! He's the one that did all the torturing, while Hopkins said, "Carry on, you are doing God's work."
Here they have a little confrontation...it's the one part of the film that showed some of that "Vincent Priceness" that we all know and love.
I unfortunately couldn't get better images of this scene, which takes place in the dungeon of an old castle. There are a lot of camera moves and fairly fast cutting going on. The film deals with very disturbing subject matter....not so much the religious aspects but just what ignorance and anarchy can fuel.
It takes place during the civil war in England and there is no concrete government. The film reminded me a bit of a Western.....where there's no law and people are slaughtered unjustly and one man (Richard Marshall) tries to fight back. Everybody seems to be taking the law into their own hands and the ending of the film leaves you feeling very hollow and disturbed.

5 comments:

el pancake said...

I saw that when it came out and I was pretty shocked at the torture scenes..not sure if they'd faze me now
...funny, these days I can't look at Witchfinder General (AKA Conqueror Worm) without thinking of the witch episode from the first Blackadder series.
if you want to see another good Vincent Price film, check out the Last Man On Earth ..it's an Italian version of I Am Legend (and much better than Omega Man or the Will Smith versions)

Suzanne Dargie said...

Oh yeah! Those torture seens WERE disturbing....the only thing allowing me to watch them being that they used the bright red "Hammer Horror" style blood!
I'd like to get my paws on a whole bunch of Vincent Price movies and do posts on them. I want to get a hold of "Fall of the House of Usher".

el pancake said...

Usher is good..you would probably also like Tomb Of Ligeia..the funny thing about all those Roger Corman Poe films is how many times he reused the scene of the castle burning to the ground...Lina said "if I see that damned castle burning ONE MORE TIME....!"

Suzanne Dargie said...

That's too funny, taking the re-use to the extreme I guess!

Holy Cow! I just realized how I spelled "scenes" in my last comment....DUH!
By the way, I watched "Last Man on Earth" yesterday on YouTube. Someone's posted the whole thing! It's great!

Willy Ashworth said...

Hi

Glad you got to see this finally, no thanks to me!!