Sunday, February 22, 2015
The Curse of the Crimson Altar
Let me tell you folks, this is a SIXTIES film. The clothes, the music, and parts of the plot. It begins with antiques dealer Robert Manning (Mark Eden) searching after his brother who has gone missing in the English countryside, and whose last know whereabouts was a house called Craxted Lodge. Manning arrives at the house while a swinging sixties style party, with sex, drugs, and body-painting, is going on and is invited to join the festivities. The owner of the house, Mr. Morley (Lee) and his sexy niece Eve (Virginia Wetherell) claim to have no knowledge of Manning's bother, and invite Manning to stay the night.
Manning has a nightmare about a cult of devil worshipers who want him to sign his name in a weird book. This has led several people to link this movie to H.P. Lovecraft's THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE because the hero of that story was coerced into signing "The Book of Azathoth" in his strange dreams. It's possible, but if so the link is tenuous at best. There's no mention of any of the Cthulhu Mythos Old Ones or anything of that nature.
Boris Karloff looks tired but he still says his creepy lines with that distinctive voice, and it's good to see him one more time. Christopher Lee's star was still on the rise when he made this film and his performance is somewhat subdued.
All and all though, I really enjoyed the movie, and recommend it to horror fans. Just be aware that it is, as I said, very much a product of it's time. Groovy baby. Fab and gear.