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The Crimson Cult (1968)

Curse of the Crimson Altar (original title)
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 »

Director:

Vernon Sewell

Writers:

Mervyn Haisman (screenplay by), Henry Lincoln (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Boris Karloff ... Professor John Marsh
Christopher Lee ... Morley
Mark Eden ... Robert Manning
Barbara Steele ... Lavinia Morley
Michael Gough ... Elder
Virginia Wetherell Virginia Wetherell ... Eve Morley
Rosemarie Reede Rosemarie Reede ... Esther
Derek Tansley Derek Tansley ... Judge
Michael Warren Michael Warren ... Chauffeur
Ron Pember Ron Pember ... Petrol Attendant
Denys Peek Denys Peek ... Peter Manning
Nicholas Head Nicholas Head ... Blacksmith
Nita Lorraine Nita Lorraine ... Woman with whip
Carol Anne Carol Anne ... 1st Virgin
Jenny Shaw 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Come face to face with naked fear on the altar of evil! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crimson Cult See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During pre-production, the film was called "Dreams in a Witch House". 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

Eve Morley: It's like a house from one of those old horror films.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Prior to the 1970 American International release in the USA, film contained additional scenes featuring nudity and mild S&M. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fun Horror Flick
17 July 2004 | by GafkeSee all my reviews

I really wish I had not been loaded on cold medicine and halfway to comatose when I sat down to watch this movie, because from what I remember through the Robitussin haze, it was pretty cool.

A young man named Peter goes missing and his brother Robert tracks him to a grandiose country estate which is lorded over by the elegant Christopher Lee and his blonde bombshell niece, Eve. The village is gearing up for a yearly celebration not unlike The Burning Man, and Robert has no place to stay while continuing the search for his brother. Mr, Lee kindly offers him a room in his mansion, although Robert really seems less interested in finding his brother than in getting Eve into bed. However, when Robert begins having dreadful nightmares that may not exist only in his head, it is up to him, Eve and a wheelchair bound Boris Karloff to solve the mystery.

There's some really cool stuff in this hard-to-find film, not the least of which is Barbara Steele with blue/green skin and a headdress of rams horns, surrounded by guys in leather, whips and goats masks. As Lavinia Morley, the centuries dead witch who may or may not be possessing one of her descendants, Steele has rarely looked more beautiful and seductive as she does here. This film never takes itself too seriously and there are some wickedly funny moments, something which is all too often missing from horror films, or just isn't done right. Boris Karloff is a riot in one of his last film roles - the stories go that he was plagued by pneumonia on the set of this film and died from complications soon afterwards, but that did not stop him from playing the part of a slightly eccentric, somewhat snooty but always likable scholar to absolute perfection. The opening scenes are great fun, going from Black Mass to psychedelic 60s party (bordering on orgy) within minutes. You won't be bored by the visuals, that's for sure.

The story may not be anything new, but it is cleverly told and seems always fresh and bright for all that the film is 40 years old. The performances are really great and the characters are truly likable, even the bad guys. It's not an easy film to find, but if you can, grab it. It's worth seeing, even if only once.


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