A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more ... See full summary »
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Trish Van Devere,
A small-town doctor (William Prince) gets caught up in a revenge plot when his small daughter is kidnapped and buried alive as he is given a few short hours to find her before she suffocates. To cover the risk of a heart attack while viewing the film, Producer-Director William Castle provided each member of the audience with an official certificate issued by Lloyds of London to insure them for $1,000 against death by fright. The gimmick worked and Castle was on his way to movie exploitation stardom! Written by
During its initial theatrical release, attendees were given a small badge that said, "I'm no chicken. I saw 'Macabre'." See more »
Possibly intentional by director; Quigley was guilty of murder. The closing credits incorrectly place Ed Quigley among the characters who died during the movie. See more »
Ladies and gentlemen - for the next hour and fifteen minutes, you will be shown things so terrifying that the management of this theatre is deeply concerned for your welfare. Therefore, we request that each of you assume the responsibility of taking care of your neighbor. If anyone near you becomes uncontrollably frightened, will you please notify the management so that medical attention can be rushed to their aid? Please set your watches. It is 6:45 in the evening in a town called Thornton...
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In an animated closing credit sequence, characters who died during the film are borne in hearses that parade across the screen, right to left. The surviving characters follow on foot. See more »
What set this film apart from all others playing at the time, was an insurance policy, issued by Lloyds Of London, given out at the box office, and insuring the patron against "death by fright" during the viewing. Of course, I doubt that anyone's relatives managed to collect the one million dollar face value, but it certainly managed to lure in a packed house.
One scene ,in particular, caused a few hesitations in my cardiac functions, despite the films generally boring overtones. One of the many false leads in the search for the missing child, led to a graveyard. An interrment was taking place during a dismal rainstorm,and the child supposedly was buried in the open grave. The camera was positioned up in the trees, as the would be rescuers dug frantically at the grave, rapidly filling with rainwater. As the coffin was unearthed and opened, the camera zoomed in for a closeup of the morbid contents, prompting ear splitting screams from the audience,and raising me out of my seat. Although only a partially melted wax doll, it did resemble a decomposing corpse.
This excellent use of the element of surprise and shock, made this ordinary film, memorable.
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