In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ...
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Three horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the first story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of himself, his fiancee ... See full summary »
An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a twenty thousand dollar bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the ... See full summary »
In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!)Written by
Marg Baskin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The end credits are divided into "The Establishment, "Witches", and "Villagers". See more »
The differences between the cut AIP version and the original edit (released on DVD in the US) are significant:
The AIP re-edit repositions the coven massacre scene (that occurs about half an hour into the film in the original version) as a pre-credits scene. The sequence is also slightly trimmed to eliminate some nudity and also remove the shots of Hugh Griffith observing the action.
The original credits are Pythonesque animations by Terry Gilliam. These animations were replaced in the AIP re-edit by stills of some of the winged creatures.
The music score was changed - the new music was composed by Lex Baxter. Wilfred Joseph did the original score.
All topless nudity was removed from the AIP re-edit. This involved trimming several scenes and re-framing others (zooming in on the "unoffensive" part of the frame). This chopped about 3m off the running time.
The death of Essay Persson was abridged
In the middle section of the film some other scenes were re-positioned in the narrative with the intent of bringing forward the appearance of the coven (in order to speed up the narrative). The version on DVD runs 91m whereas the old AIP version runs only 87m.
This is a nasty bit of business made by AIP during that dreary period where the colorful, fun horror movies of the '60s were giving way to the darker, grittier movies of the '70s. It stars Vincent Price, easily the biggest name in horror in the '60s. Despite the title, there's no banshees in this movie. It's about an evil magistrate (Price) who abuses and kills people in his village in the name of witch hunting. Similar at this point to another (better) Price vehicle from around this time called The Conqueror Worm. But the similarities end there as the main plot is about some witches summoning a demon or something to seek revenge on Price and his wicked children. No banshees to be found. Lots of sexual stuff, though, and not all of it consensual. There's even a song about rape in the movie. So...yeah...more banshees and less rape, please. This is an ugly, cheap, and unpleasant exploitation movie. It's not fun enough to be entertaining and, as for horror, it couldn't scare a five year-old. One interesting little bit of trivia is that Terry Gilliam did the opening credits. They're done in that same style Monty Python was famous for.
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