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Reginald Le Borg
In the end of the Nineteenth Century, the aristocrat Edward Markham is disfigured by sorcery in Africa by the natives. His brother Julian Markham brings him back to the Markham Manor in England and keeps him prisoner in the attic. The mad Edward asks his lawyer Trench and his partner to bring the African sorcerer N'Galo in secret to heal him but Julian does not allow any contact with his brother. Trench and N'Galo simulate the death of Edward to remove him from the attic in a coffin. However, body snatchers bring his body to the unscrupulous Dr. Newhartt for his research. Edward offers a large amount to Dr. Newhartt to stay hidden in his house and wears a crimson hood to hide his face. When Edward goes to the town, his mask brings problem to him and he begins a series of murders. When he finally meets N'Galo, he finds why the natives have deformed him and he seeks revenge. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gordon Hessler's "The Oblong Box" of 1969 starring the great Vincent Price is a creepy, and excellent Horror tale with a great atmosphere. The movie, whose cast also includes another great horror icon, Christopher Lee, is only loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same name, a fact that, in my opinion, does not downsize the quality of this eerie and obscure film. "The Oblong Box" combines all kinds of elements a fan of Gothic Horror cinema could desire: Voodoo, disfigurement, premature burial, and of course a constant eerie atmosphere and a bunch of bloody murders.
In 18th century England, Sir Julian Markham (Vincent Price) keeps his brother Edward (Aliester Williamson) locked in a chamber in the tower of his mansion. Edward had been disfigured during a voodoo ceremony in Africa, and since gone completely insane. With some help, however, Edward manages to fake his own death in order to flee his prison, using methods which include a premature burial...
Vincent Price is my favorite actor of all-time and his performance is, as always, superb, and no other actor would have fit in his role as Price does. Christopher Lee also delivers a great performance as a body-snatching doctor, a role in which he once again proves that his reputation as a horror icon is more than justified. The cast furthermore includes the beautiful Hillary Dwyer, who had already starred besides Price in Michael Reeves' masterpiece "Witchfinder General" in 1968, and who would play besides Price again in 1970, in "Cry Of The Banshee", also directed by Gordon Hessler, in the female lead.
An excellently written and directed and superbly acted movie, "The Oblong Box" is a film which fans of Gothic Horror can't afford to miss. "Witchfinder General" director Michael Reeves was originally considered to direct the film, but died before the shooting began, and although I have utmost respect for this promising director, who sadly passed away at such a young age, I must say that I cannot imagine anyone to do a better job directing "The Oblong Box" than Hessler did. An excellent little tale of terror, "The Oblong Box" is a must-see for every Horror-fan. 9/10
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