6.9/10
6,342
136 user 117 critic

The Conqueror Worm (1968)

Witchfinder General (original title)
Unrated | | Biography, Drama, Horror | May 1968 (UK)
A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Horror thriller set in 17th century England about the children of a village slowly converting into a coven of devil worshipers.

Director: Piers Haggard
Stars: Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden, Barry Andrews
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charles Dexter Ward arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr.
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man, upon entering his fiancées's family mansion, discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith
The Sorcerers (1967)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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... See full summary »

Director: Michael Reeves
Stars: Boris Karloff, Catherine Lacey, Elizabeth Ercy
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Aristocrat Julian Markham keeps his disfigured brother, Sir Edward, locked in a tower of his house. Occasionaly Sir Edward escapes and causes havoc around the town.

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the 16th century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three tales of terror involve a grieving widower and the daughter he abandoned; a drunkard and his wife's black cat; and a hypnotist who prolongs the moment of a man's death.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The vengeful doctor rises again, seeking the Scrolls of Life in an attempt to resurrect his deceased wife.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Peter Cushing
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Richard Marshall
Rupert Davies ...
John Lowes
Hilary Heath ...
Sara (as Hilary Dwyer)
Robert Russell ...
John Stearne
Nicky Henson ...
Swallow
Tony Selby ...
Salter
...
Fisherman
Godfrey James ...
Webb
Michael Beint ...
Captain Gordon
John Trenaman ...
Harcourt (as John Treneman)
Bill Maxwell ...
Gifford
Paul Ferris ...
Paul (as Morris Jar)
Maggie Kimberly ...
Elizabeth
Peter Haigh ...
Lavenham Magistrate
Edit

Storyline

England is torn in civil strife as the Royalists battle the Parliamentary Party for control. This conflict distracts people from rational thought and allows unscrupulous men to gain local power by exploiting village superstitions. One of these men is Matthew Hopkins, who tours the land offering his services as a persecutor of witches. Aided by his sadistic accomplice John Stearne, he travels from city to city and wrenches confessions from "witches" in order to line his pockets and gain sexual favors. When Hopkins persecutes a priest, he incurs the wrath of Richard Marshall, who is engaged to the priest's niece. Risking treason by leaving his military duties, Marshall relentlessly pursues the evil Hopkins and his minion Stearne. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Leave the children home! ...and if you are squeamish, stay home with them!!!!!!! [US poster] See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Horror | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Conqueror Worm  »

Box Office

Budget:

$175,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Vincent Price regarded his performance here as the finest of his horror movie career. See more »

Goofs

Real flintlock pistols of that period were useless at beyond point blank range and yet, in this film, people are shot at 50 metres or more. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[United States Conqueror Worm versions]
Matthew Hopkins: [voiceover] LO! 't is a gala night/Within the lonesome latter years./An angel throng, bewinged, bedight/In veils, and drowned in tears,/Sit in a theatre to see/A play of hopes and fears,/While the orchestra breathes fitfully/The music of the spheres."
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Witches (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Shocking and impacting – an average narrative but a great central theme, strong direction and strong performances
2 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With England in a civil war, Captain Richard Marshall is just one of many soldiers earning his money killing the Royalist rebels. Home from service briefly, Marshall stays with a priest and his wife-to-be Sarah Lowes but soon heads off. On his way out of the area he meets lawyer Matthew Hopkins, who has been called in by locals to help with some matters. Thinking nothing Marshall rides on having directed Hopkins correctly but only later he learns that Hopkins is more a witch-hunter than a lawyer and that the very "devil" that he has gone to town to unmask is none other than Lowes.

Although I was familiar with the title I had neither heard anything good or bad about this film or ever managed to see it myself. With a recent screening on late night television in the UK I decided to give it a twirl and found much to like from the very opening credits where a hung woman gives way to a title credits sequence of wonderfully captured faces in various states of pain and/or terror. The imaginative air to these visuals continues even as the film settles down to deliver the story and the whole affair has a great colour and hue to it, using some visual effects to improve some shots. Reeves (who, at 23, probably never expected this to be his last film) uses the English countryside to great effect and summons up a great sense of period as well as contrasting it powerfully with the fear and violence of Hopkins' deeds.

The plot threatens to be a poor device to show this history in gory detail but generally it works well enough because it makes the characters and the actions as important as the specific story involving Marshall. This moves along well but generally it is Hopkins and his quest that holds the interest because it is essentially evil and cruel – factors that the film brings out very well while observing the slight touch of glee from Hopkins that accompanies the cruel deaths. This is greatly helped by a superbly cruel turn from Price who dominates the film and makes his scenes the best. Ogilvy has a lesser role but is still very good despite not having the material given to Price. Support from Russell, Heath and others is mostly good apart from one or two bum notes in small areas – the victims are convincing which was important to make the horrors convincing.

Overall an impacting little film that has a basic plot but greatly benefits from the cruelty of the piece, strong direction and good performances led by a great Price. Dated a touch but still quite shocking, interesting and worth seeing.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Do you prefer the Witchfinder General or the Wicker Man? Chunky-Monkey
the slaying of hopkins runner_logan
Last witch execution in England?? leenicholls500
Sony Says 'No' to a WITCHFINDER GENERAL DVD: Please Read! reisgeorge
Was confused dramachicfc
Saw it for the first time yesterday... sofialoren
Discuss The Conqueror Worm (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?