Curse of the Crimson Altar (1970)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Prof. Marshe
as Robert Manning
as The Vicar
as Petrol Attendant
as Peter Manning
as Sgt. Tyson
Critic Reviews for Curse of the Crimson Altar
Audience Reviews for Curse of the Crimson Altar
I had been putting off watching this for quite a while, as I often find it difficult to enjoy vintage horror films for various reasons. But I finally got around to it, and my initial vibe was pretty much justified. The costumes are nice and interesting, especially that of the witch Lavinia, but overall the story is very average. There are some effective elements, and a few self-aware moments, but they aren't as well handled as they could've been, and the characterisation and dialogue is pretty weak. The psychedelic effects vary in effectiveness, and the witch room 'dreams' are rather striking if not frightening. Overall the film is a bit dull and rather dated, but it's worth a look for the vintage horror fans, especially for the twin casting of Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff.
Well, this is certainly not a good film, but I do like a bit of low budget horror flicks now and again. Pretty much as soon as the film starts we are greeted with a quote from some entirely fictitious medical journal, "...and drugs of this group can produce the most complex hallucinations and under their influence it is possible by hypnosis to induce the subject to perform actions he would not normally commit". Apparently this was put there at the last minute to cash in on the late 60s drug phase, it certainly has nothing to do with the actual plot, the fluorescent green and pink titles is about as psychedelic as it gets. After this it cuts to some weird ritual involving a witch which is actually Barbara Steele done up in green body paint and wearing horns. Surrounding her are a couple of virgins and a leather wearing couple with whips, this is a sacrifice afterall. Throughout the film there are a couple of other scenes involving Barbara Steele and her menagerie, which are probably the most curious scenes. The rest of the story is pretty bland, it involves a man, looking for his missing brother, who visits a remote house which is where he was last seen. Christopher Lee stars as the suspicious owner of the house, who, I would just like to mention, ends up hypnotizing people with a rotating lampshade! His niece also lives in the house with him, unaware of the strange going ons. She doesn't really do much except for throw a hilarious looking wild party. Apart from this you've got the great Boris Karloff as well (at one point, when talking about how the house looks like it's from a horror film, the lead even says "It's like Boris Karloff is going to pop up at any moment.") There is definitely nothing special going on in this film, but it's interesting to see just the once.
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