Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Witchcraft (1964)

WARNING: This thoroughly British film, starring Lon Chaney Jr., barely stars Lon Chaney Jr.  His name is emblazoned front and center but, except for a few scenes at the beginning and end of the movie, he is completely absent from the plot. 
Now that you've been warned, on to Witchcraft.  This 1960's thriller feels a bit more like a melodrama and less like a horror film.  It's the kind of stuff I saw as a kid on late night horrorfests.  Witchcraft is well acted and has a decent plot.  However, it develops in ways that are fairly predictable.  In fact, you can see every supposed surprise coming from a mile away.  The set up is classic: A developer runs his bulldozer right through a cemetery to make way for a new housing development.  In the process he desecrates the graves of the Whitlock family, and unearths the coffin of uber-witch Vanessa who was buried alive many years ago.  Naturally, she is still alive and seeks her revenge on the developer's family.  You can pretty much figure out where it goes from there.
As a side note, if you have any friends who are Wiccans, do not invite them over to watch this film with you.  I guarantee you evening will not go well.  This film, like many others before it, ties witches to Satanism.  This, of course, is a long-standing societal prejudice that needs to be dismantled.  I know several Wiccans and they do not perform human sacrifices!!!  Their religion is earth-based and peaceful.  Enough said!
Overall, Witchcraft is not a bad film.  It's not great either.  It's just O.K.  If you're bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon with nothing to do, then this film will fit the bill quite nicely.  If you're looking for a masterful performance from Lon Chaney Jr. stick with The Wolf Man (1941).
RATING:  Good.
For more info check out the episode's entry in IMDB.

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