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The Crimson Cult (1968)

Curse of the Crimson Altar (original title)
R | | Horror | 15 April 1970 (USA)
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 ... 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:

Terror fills the night as she stalks her prey! (theatrical poster) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | 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

This was the second film in which Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee appeared together. See more »

Goofs

Boom mic visible at 1:03:10, during conversation in police station. See more »

Quotes

Professor John Marsh: I have a rather amusing collection you might be interested in seeing.
Robert Manning: Oh, really? What do you collect?
Professor John Marsh: Instruments of torture.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly watchable!
1 October 2012 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

I'm neither old enough to have seen this sort of horror at the time (barely born, in fact) nor a real horror fan, but this came up late on BBC2.

The opening scene is nicely weird enough, with various symbols of witchcraft, with various symbols in sorts of colourful panto vignettes and then soon settles into normal life, old cars, Britishness and all that.

Looking for his disappeared brother, Robert Manning (a fairly ordinary, nice Mark Eden) drives off to this lodge, from where his brother's last letter was addressed from. On the way up, he is told that the village in question is holding an anniversary witchcraft celebration and finds cars of men chasing a girl running through the woods.

Reaching the Lodge, the owner, one J D Morley (Peter Cushing, no less) naturally denies any knowledge but offers him a room for the night. As one (naturally) does, in a big, strange old house, where there was a party that involved painting young lady's breasts (and similar!), Manning accepts. A joke with one young seductress about 'the sort of old house from the movies, where Boris Karloff appears' is nicely tongue-in- cheek, as the other big star here, is indeed, Karloff himself.

He plays a wheelchair-bound professor, who's hobby is collecting instruments of torture. And, of course there's a dodgy chauffeur who goes around shooting at things in the woods (including 'our' man) and who so happens to be mute and an even stranger caretaker. Them there's loads of kaleidoscopic hallucinatory nightmares, with electronically distorted sound FX that our Robert suffers, which are interesting, at least. Then he toddles off, sleepwalking down to the local graveyard.

It's all hoary nonsense, of course, but whilst a bit dated, there's enough interesting characters played by interesting - and/or sexy people, if you get my drift, for the film to remain entertaining and enjoyable.

I'd give the actual film 5/10 for its real merit and maybe 7 for the other, entertainment aspects, as I've outlined. I don't think many fans of this genre would be too disappointed either and for them it's definitely worth checking out.


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