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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
We have all kind of barbarities featuring in this dark and moody tale. Only the wicked pen of Edgar Allen Poe could have come up with a tale that blends voodoo, body snatching, medical experiments, brotherly betrayal and a taste of what most likely is the worst imaginable nightmare: being buried alive! Set in the second half of the 19th century, Vincent Price (oh, how I love this man) stars as a wealthy landlord who returned from Africa severely traumatized. His brother got cursed by the aboriginals there and now lives locked up in his room, heavily deformed. But he's still clever enough to plan an escape and pays some small crooks to have him appear dead. Due to several unfortunate events, the plan goes wrong and Sir Edward's supposedly dead body ends up in the laboratory of morbid scientist Christopher Lee (another man I love!)
The entire film carries some sort of unnameable eeriness. The depressing set pieces and colorless locations add a great deal to the sublime horrific atmosphere. All this, together with an intriguing and complex screenplay makes this movie yet another highlight in the careers of Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. Both icons of horror give away amazing performances and it's actually a damn shame they don't share many sequences together. This is a marvelous film from the time that horror still was the greatest genre in cinema. They simply can't deliver movies as good as this anymore. Maybe I'm giving it a little too much praise but you can't but agree with me that at least this kind of horror oldies demand a much wider attention span than the nowadays gore-junk. For that aspect alone, I feel obliged to give it a high rating.
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