Conducting weird scientific experiments, crazed Dr. James Brewster, aided by his colleague Dr. Randall, has managed to transform himself into a hairy, stooped-over ape-man. Desperately ... See full summary »
In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire ... See full summary »
Adapted from a play that was based on a real-life murder case from 1827, although the play (and film) presented a highly sensationalized and sentimental version of the story. The real Maria Marten was hardly the innocent, virginal young thing as seen here; by the time of her murder she had already borne two children out of wedlock and was notoriously free with her affections. She had also had a child by Corder (with whom she was having a consensual affair), which either died or was murdered. (The character of her other "good" lover is a complete fiction.) Marten's stepmother claimed to have dreams where Maria's ghost led her to the spot where her body was later found; later researchers have speculated that the stepmother (only a few years older than Maria) was an accomplice to the murder. Corder was the same age group as Maria; the Victorian melodramas made him into an older man and very much a stereotypical upper-crust villain. Much was written about it at the time and fascination with the case continued well into the 20th century. See more »
Squire William Corder:
Didn't I make you a promise, Maria? I promised to make you a bride. Don't be afraid, Maria. You shall be a bride...a bride of Death!
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Of all Tod Slaughter's films, this horror-melodrama about a young girl brought to disgrace by a local squire easily is my favourite. Slaughter plays Squire William Corder, infatuated with a young Maria who is also admired greatly by a roaming gypsy named Carlos(Carlos is very English, however). Squire Corder consentually has his way with Maria, she later becomes pregnant, and Corder kills Maria in the Red Barn to quiet her so he can continue on with his own marriage plans for some much needed capital in order to pay off his gambling debts. Slaughter is a sight for the sorest of eyes. They just do not cut ham this thick anymore! He rolls his eyes, leers, laughs maniacally with the best, and he also has the greatest ability to be totally likable no matter what variety of fiend he plays. At one point in a scene where Maria confronts Corder about needing his help for these very trying circumstances, Slaughter delivers lines like, "No, don't speak" with relish I just have not seen in film very often. Every line Slaughter says seems to come to life and yet we seem to be in on the joke with him. This is a great piece not so much for the mystery...really is no mystery...but simply to watch an actor who should get more credit than he does act like no other. Great fun, great laughs, great Slaughter!
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