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Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)

 -  Horror  -  15 April 1970 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 953 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 26 critic

When his brother disappears, Robert Manning pays a visit to the remote country house he was last heard from. While his host is outwardly welcoming - and his niece more demonstrably so - ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Professor Marsh
...
Morley
Mark Eden ...
Robert Manning
...
Lavinia
...
Elder
Virginia Wetherell ...
Eve
Rosemarie Reede ...
Esther
Derek Tansley ...
Judge
Michael Warren ...
Chauffeur
Ron Pember ...
Petrol Attendant
Denys Peek ...
Peter Manning
Nicholas Head ...
Blacksmith
Nita Lorraine ...
Woman with whip
Carol Anne ...
1st Virgin
Jenny Shaw ...
2nd Virgin
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Storyline

When his brother disappears, Robert Manning pays a visit to the remote country house he was last heard from. While his host is outwardly welcoming - and his niece more demonstrably so - Manning detects a feeling of menace in the air with the legend of Lavinia Morley, Black Witch of Greymarsh, hanging over everything. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What obscene prayer or human sacrifice can satisfy the Devil-God? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Curse of the Crimson Altar  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house used in the film is Grim's Dyke House (now a hotel) in Harrow Weald, Middlesex. The house was formerly the home of William S. Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. See more »

Goofs

After the firemen turn on the water valves on the fire engine they take the ladder on wheels to the house. However when they cross over the hose pipes you can see that they lie flat on the ground so clearly no water is running through them. See more »

Quotes

Robert Manning: It's like Boris Karloff is going to pop up at any moment.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee AND Barbara Steele - Can One Ask For More?
16 April 2008 | by (Salzburg, Austria) – See all my reviews

Three of all-time's greatest Horror icons in one movie - which true horror fan would not love a film like that? Vernon Sewell's "Curse Of The Crimson Altar" of 1968 may not be a particularly memorable example for British Gothic Horror from the late sixties. More precisely, it is often extremely cheesy, and far from being a masterpiece, but the brilliant casting of Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and the wonderful Barbara Steele makes this a must-see for every lover of Gothic Horror.The story is apparently loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft's "Dreams in the Witch House". The film bears little resemblance to the short story by Lovecraft, however. It does, however, resemble several other Horror films from the 1960s in many aspects, especially the brilliant "City Of The Dead" of 1960s, which also starred Christopher Lee (even though it comes nowhere near its brilliance, of course).

After his brother has gone missing, Antiques dealer Robert Manning (Mark Eden), travels to the village of Greymarsh, where his brother was last seen in a huge mansion. Manning is kindly welcomed by the mansion's owner Mr. Morley (Christopher Lee), a descendant of Lavinia Morley (Barbara Steele), a 17th century witch, who, before being burned at the stake, put a curse on the people of Greymarsh. Manning, who has no clue of where his brother is yet, gets along very well with his guest-keeper's beautiful niece Eve (Virginia Wetherell). Somehow, however, the area still seems to be under the menacing spell of Lavina...

The film is, of course, particularly worth watching for its three stars. Christopher Lee is, as always, great and the incomparable Boris Karloff shines in one of his last roles as an eccentric old witchcraft expert who collects 'instruments of torture'. The greatest treat is the wonderful Barbara Steele (one of my favorite actresses and the greatest female Horror-icon ever) in the role of the green-faced witch Lavina wearing a bizarre horned crown. The supporting cast includes two other memorable British actors, Michael Gough ("Horror Of Dracula"), who plays a butler, and Rupert Davies ("Witchfinder General"). Beautiful Viriginia Wetherell fits well in her role as Eve, and also grants a peak at her lovely backside. The film is practically blood-less, but it is partly quite atmospheric, and occasionally quite weird, as several scenes seem quite bizarre and feature weird S&M style costumes. All things considered, the film is great fun to watch. It is certainly not highly memorable in any aspect except for the cast, but what a cast that is! No true lover of Horror can afford to miss a film starring Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and Barbara Steele. Steele alone makes this a must for Horror fans in her green make-up! Recommended.


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