15 July 2024
Crucible of Horror (1970)
90 min.
Directed by Viktors Ritelis.
With Michael Gough, Yvonne Mitchell, Sharon Gurney, Simon Gough, Olaf Pooley, David Butler, Nicholas Jones.
Very weird reworking of Clouzet's 1955 nailbiter Diabolique.

Contemptuous Walter Eastwood (Gough) abuses his poor wife and daughter to no end, controlling them with scorn both physical and verbal. So the two hapless women decide to kill the mean old man and make it appear a suicide, carefully disposing of his dead body in the family hunting cottage.

But soon pop's body goes a-missin'...could the deed have been botched or has Walter saved his cruelest mindgame for last? A fairly quirky (and oddly paced) first third gives way to a conventional thriller format, with some interesting characterizations by Mitchell as wife and Gurney as daughter.

Horror regular Gough (1968's Berserk! et al.) is terrific as the dark lead; the abrupt and harrowing climax rates as the best scene.

Also known simply as The Corpse.

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