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The Dunwich Horror (1970)

R | | Horror | 14 January 1970 (USA)
Wilbur Whateley pops over to the Arkham Miskatonic University to borrow the legendary Necronomicon and Sandra Dee. But little does anyone know, Whateley isn't quite human...

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(screenplay) (as Curtis Lee Hanson), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Dr. Henry Armitage
...
Dr. Cory
...
Old Whateley
Joanne Moore Jordan ...
Lavinia Whateley (as Joanna Moore Jordan)
Donna Baccala ...
Elizabeth Hamilton
...
Nurse Cora (as Talia Coppola)
...
Dr. Raskin
...
Sheriff Harrison
Barboura Morris ...
Mrs. Cole
Beach Dickerson ...
Mr. Cole
Michael Haynes ...
Guard
Toby Russ ...
Librarian
Jack Pierce ...
Reeger
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Storyline

H.P. Lovecraft meets Hollywood: Wilbur Whateley wants to help the Old Ones break through by consulting the Necronomicon, and Armitage must stop him. Attractive females are added to fill out the plot. Written by Brian Bixby <barbix@tiac.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"People seldom visit Dunwich. The town is ruined, decadent and its annals reek of overt viciousness, murder, crime and violent deed, unnameable." - H.P. Lovecraft See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

14 January 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dunwich Horror  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Fonda turned down the role of Wilbur Whateley. See more »

Goofs

Every person in the movie pronounces the town's name as "Dun-witch"; in fact, it is pronounced "Dun-itch", with a silent 'W' as in "Greenwich village". See more »

Quotes

Wilbur Whateley: Come back, Old Ones... Princes of Darkness... and repossess the earth.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Campy Yet Worthwhile Lovecraft Adaptation
25 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

"The Dunwich Horror" of 1970 may not be great Horror, but it is nonetheless a worthwhile little film that has many qualities. The film is based on the writings of the almighty H.P. Lovecraft, which may be one of the reasons why many fellow Horror lovers find it to be disappointing. Many films based on Lovecraft writings are downright brilliant all-time Horror-greats, above all Roger Corman's "Haunted Palace" (1963) with Vincent Price (which was marketed as a Poe-adaptation), Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" (1981) and Stuart Gordon's "Re-Animator" (1985), just to name three absolute masterpieces inspired by this great writer's work. "The Dunwitch Horror", of course, comes nowhere near the brilliance of films like those just mentioned, it is not even comparable to films like these, and it is certainly no classic, but while the film has its flaws, it is still an entertaining film that has its qualities.

I will not go into detail regarding the plot, but, as usual for Lovecraft adapt ions, the Necronomicon, and the 'Old Ones' play an important role. The quality of the performances differs. Sandra Dee, is sexy and nice to look at in the female lead, and she even reveals some of her charms, but her performance is quite awful. Dean Stockwell (who sports one of the most fake-looking mustaches in motion picture history) arguably delivers the best performance in the film, and the cast furthermore includes Sam Jaffe and the weird-looking Ed Begley ("12 Angry Men", "Hang 'Em High") in one of his last roles. Talia Shire also has a small role. The visual style is very much a matter of personal taste. The film has a nice general atmosphere and cool settings. The occasional flashy colors, in which the whole screen turns at some points, don't really fit in and annoy at times. The films greatest aspect is the excellent score by Les Baxter, which contributes a lot to the atmosphere. The film has a brilliant animated opening credit sequence, which is another reason to give it a try. All things considered, "The Dunwich Horror" is certainly no great film, but even though it is quite cheesy and never really suspenseful it is yet a highly entertaining little film that I recommend to fans of occult fun.


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