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George A. Cooper
The great hypnotist Professor Montserrat has developed a technique for controlling the minds, and sharing the sensations, of his subjects. He and his wife Estelle test the technique on Mike Roscoe, and enjoy 'being' the younger man. But Estelle soon grows to love the power of controlling Roscoe, and the vicarious pleasures that provides. How far will she go, and can the Professor restrain her in time? Written by
Kieron O'Hara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Those commenters who have lamented the invisibility of Michael Reeves's second feature will be glad to know it was networked on Britain's biggest channel, BBC1, on 7 January. "The Sorcerers" is one of the movies that makes one feel a fresh evaluation of Tony Tenser's Tigon (and of Amicus, the other little brother of Hammer in the spooky and gory area) is overdue.
No need to exaggerate the merits of this prentice work by the 23-year-old Great White Forlorn Hope. It has the budget and look of a made-for-television movie (Euston Films, maybe?) and falls somewhere between "Peeping Tom" and "Performance" in its conflation of traditional horror/fantasy and Swinging London elements. The first scene of Karloff sparring with a newsagent recalls Miles Malleson poring over dirty postcards in Michael Powell's masterwork. Ian Ogilvy's eternal triangle in and around a nightclub-- interrupted by the increasingly criminal forays on which he is sent by the mind-controlling Montserrats-- has a touch of James Fox's peregrinations as the hoodlum whose brain is warped by contact with Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg.
Like Fox, Ogilvy was a public schoolboy (Eton) here convincingly playing rough trade. His junk shop, cheekily named "The Glory Hole", is in Lisson Grove, not far from the infamous Bayswater pad of "Performance". A comparison of Reeves and Donald Cammell as sceptical observers of the Flower Power era might keep a film studies thesis-writer busy.
However, the film belongs to Karloff and Catherine Lacey, the puppetmasters of mesmerism. Boris, aged 80, is doing his last work in his native land. He is clearly tired and spends most of the runtime sitting or sprawling. He is in his mellow, "Targets" phase: bearded, gaunt, hollow-eyed and lined, that beautifully sepulchral voice still able to veer from sinister implication to moral authority within a few syllables. After a career of kindly spinsters, Miss Lacey must have relished her Grand Guignol, orgasmic turn as the wife who has to dominate her hubby before she can possess a younger male psyche and make Ogilvy into a serial killer.
Connoisseurs of Britflix will enjoy spotting Gerald Campion, the former Billy Bunter of BBC TV, as a queer customer of The Glory Hole; Susan George, junior sexpot, just 17 and already acting like a hardened good time girl; Meier Tzelniker, stalwart of the Yiddish theatre and singer of "Nausea" in "Expresso Bongo", as a café owner; Alf Joint, veteran stuntman, as the repair shop foreman; and Ivor Dean as the archetypal CID man with belted mac and pipe.
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