Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Amicus horror feature from 1973. As with so many Hammer/Amicus features this has very little genuine horror and quite a bit of anaemic acting in over-lit rooms. The peculiar billing implies Peter Cushing and Herbert Lom are the stars, but in fact the three leads are played by Ian Ogilvy (bland), Stephanie Beacham (screams a lot) and Geoffrey Whitehead (vengeful servant). It's entertaining enough but lacks atmosphere. Lom is terrific in a sadistic cameo, Cushing indifferent as a doctor.
Early 1970s UK horror from Amicus productions who were more known for their horror anthology films such as Asylum and The Beast Must Die.
Here the film isn't an anthology but a straight horror cum period drama.
Set in the 18th Century this film focuses on a rich family haunted by demons from the family past some fifty years prior.
The demons involve graphic scenes of rape and limb dismemberment resulting in a severed hand cropping up in several scenes involving the supposed madness of Stephanie Beacham's character Catherine Fengriffin.
However after a good hour we find she isn't mad at all but the victim of a vendetta resulting from the barbaric acts of her newly related ancestor grandfather (Herbert Lom as Henry Fengriffin).
Peter Cushing makes a brief appearance as surprise, surprise a doctor.
Cushing (the legend that he is) gets top billing for a few minutes appearance in the film that could have been filmed in a day.
The film is slow moving until the story of the Fengriffin family unravels in the final act.
The credits at the beginning reveal the story is based on a book Fengriffin. One wonders if is in print?
The review of Cushing work goes on.
A Slow Moving Atmospheric Amicus Horror, That's More Adult Orientated Than Some Of Their Other Big Films. Its A Tale About, Rape, Revenge, Virgins & Ghosts In A Seemingly Hauted House. This Is A Film That Works With Its Somewhat Basic Story, Clever Atmosphere & It's Good Performances From Its Cast
A good cast in a Hammeresque style gothic horror. It's creepy enough but lacks a satisfying ending.
One of the rare non-anthology offerings from Amicus, this one is pretty much a bore, despite the admirably out-there premise. Still, watching genre veterans like Lom, Magee, and Cushing chew a little scenery is never a bad thing; too bad they're stuck in such a forgettable film.
Produced by Amicus Productions and directed by the ever reliable Roy Ward Baker (A Night to Remember (1958), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Scars of Dracula (1970) and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)), this is a complex but effective horror film with a good cast, but it does get a bit complex for it's own good, which tends to work against it. Set in rural England in 1795, it starts when young Charles Fengriffen (Ian Ogilvy) marries Catherine (Stephanie Beacham), and they settle down in the family home, but when Catherine becomes obsessed with a painting that has a mysterious, hypnotic quality about it, she starts seeing things, like a dismembered hand crawling across the floor, and on the wedding night, Catherine is sexually assaulted by some unknown entity. When the hallucinations get worse, Charles turns to Dr. Whittle (Patrick Magee), who is at a loss what to do, but he calls in psychologist Dr. Pope (Peter Cushing), who learns the horrible truth about Charles' grandfather Henry (Herbert Lom), and the curse a woodsman called Silas (Geoffrey Whitehead) put upon the name of Fengriffen. It's got it's good moments of bloody scares and what you'd expect from a 70's horror film, it's got good costumes and sets too, and it manages to do a lot with not a lot of money. A bit of work could have gone into the script mind, as it does seem a bit confused and muddled at the end, which feels a bit silly.
Rather than the portmanteau films that Amicus were known for in the early 70's here they try to ape Hammer and create their own gothic horror. Unfortunately there is little that is actually horrific here aside from a few shock moments and the whole thing feels a bit laboured. The cast are pretty strong and do their best with the material but you kind of wish the whole thing had been compresses into a short story and thrown into another portmanteau film. I think I'll stick with 'Asylum' and 'Vault of Horror' in the future.
Stephanie Beecham, can't look at her without thinking of bad girls now haha. This was utter crap, it got a star for Stephanie and a half star for the funny severed hand!
Whilst this Amicus horror is slightly rough around the edges, the plot is quite good and some scenes are actually quite scary.
It was decent but i prefer the Amicus anthology flicks. This could have easily been shortened down and inserted into one of those films.