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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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
While not a particularly great film, like so many of Castle's films it's a lot of fun
This film never had a chance of winning any awards or high praise from the critics and this is no surprise. Like many of William Castle's films, this isn't high art and it was meant to be very broad horror that would appeal to the common man and woman in the audience. In many places the plot seemed silly and tough to believe but because of Castle's style, it was still a lot of fun to watch--particularly the silly voting segment and subsequent evil ending of the film.
As for the unbelievable plot, a famous doctor is called by an old sweetheart to travel across Europe to help her. However, when he arrives, she behaves like there is nothing the matter! However, it soon becomes obvious that her husband is having major issues, as he walks everywhere with a mask over his face. It turns out that a great scare years earlier permanently contorted his face into a silly and unrealistic looking grimace and the doctor is threatened into treating the crazy afflicted man.
Throughout all this, there are tons of unnecessary but cool torture and mayhem--such as seeing the maid hung by her thumbs and having leeches pasted all over her face. Sardonicus is a jerk in this film and it's really hard to care about his facial anomaly.
By the way, IMDb doesn't mention this, but the mask that Sardonicus wears looks an awful lot like William Castle's face and I am sure that with the director's quirky sense of humor that this was intentional.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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