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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 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:

The high priestess of evil...A monstrous fiend with an overpowering lust for blood... (theatrical poster) 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

Before Boris Karloff appears as the Professor Marsh, the character Robert Manning jokes that the ominous looking mansion is a place he'd expect to see the legendary horror actor, Boris Karloff. 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

Robert Manning: It's like Boris Karloff is going to pop up at any moment.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Dull For The Amazing Cast
18 March 2011 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Robert Manning (Mark Eden) searches for his vanished brother in a rural English village, where he is entangled in the legend of Lavinia (Barbara Steele), a witch killed 300 years ago. Lavinia's heir, J. D. Morley (Christopher Lee), wants revenge on anyone related to her killers, such as Robert. Robert romances Morley's niece, Eve, and is aided by occult expert Prof. Marsh (Boris Karloff), but it is up to him to repel Morley's evil designs.

Boris Karloff became ill with pneumonia while shooting this project in the freezing rain. It was his last British feature, begun January 22 1968, and he would recover enough to shoot four Mexican features in May 1968, his final screen work. Barbara Steele is always a treat, and she is especially interesting with green skin and a large, feathery hat (if you can call that a hat).

Loosely based off of H. P. Lovecraft's "Dreams in the Witch House", how does it stack up to the Stuart Gordon version forty years later? Honestly, you cannot even compare them. If there is a connection, it is very limited. There is a witch, there are dreams, but the two films are worlds apart.

Howard Maxford calls the film "dated and somewhat slow", having "a better cast than it deserves". How a film that runs only 87 minutes can be slow is a legitimate question. Ivan Butler also feels the film falls short, saying the "promise of a combination of Lee, Karloff and Barbara Steele is not fulfilled". These are fair assessments.

I recommend the film for the cast and the awesome organ track that opens the film. Beyond that, it is hit and miss and you could skip it.


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