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 »
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 grotesque results! The audience gets an opportunity to vote--via the "Punishment Poll"--for the penalty Sardonicus must pay for his deeds... Written by
During its initial theatrical release, attendees were given small white cards with luminous thumbs with which to vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down. See more »
In the opening scene Sir Robert and his assistant Wainright are working on a paralyzed girl's legs. The story is set in 1880 yet the young girl clearly shows evidence of a recently-removed band-aid from the side of her right ankle. Adhesive bandages were invented in 1920. See more »
What I had not forseen was that the face of my father, the muscles stretched by a terrible death recoil, would look directly and hideously upon me, the dead lips drawn back in a constant and soul-shattering smile.
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Of the great William Castle's classic gimmick films, this is generally regarded as one of the lesser ones. It should be seen for the amusing period piece that it is, and for the hilarious concept of the "Punishment Poll" with which it was originally exhibited. Upon its original release, viewers were allowed to vote "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" for the fate of the title character. In actuality, there is only one ending, but it's a pretty good one. The actors in this film are all good, with Oscar Homolka being the highlight as the sinister assistant. There is good atmosphere, with plenty of fog and shadows, and the story is intriguing, if not entertaining. The music by Von Dexter, who worked on several other Castle films, is also notable. Definitely a fun film for those who like the old-time horror films which sacrifice gore for suspense, and a must-see for fans of William Castle.
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