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The Dunwich Horror (1970)

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

Director:

Daniel Haller

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
Sandra Dee ... Nancy Wagner
Dean Stockwell ... Wilbur Whateley
Ed Begley ... Dr. Henry Armitage
Lloyd Bochner ... Dr. Cory
Sam Jaffe ... Old Whateley
Joanne Moore Jordan Joanne Moore Jordan ... Lavinia Whateley (as Joanna Moore Jordan)
Donna Baccala Donna Baccala ... Elizabeth Hamilton
Talia Shire ... Nurse Cora (as Talia Coppola)
Michael Fox ... Dr. Raskin
Jason Wingreen ... Sheriff Harrison
Barboura Morris Barboura Morris ... Mrs. Cole
Beach Dickerson Beach Dickerson ... Mr. Cole
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes ... Guard
Toby Russ Toby Russ ... Librarian
Jack Pierce 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. Written by Brian Bixby <barbix@tiac.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Devil's Spawn Is About To Open The Gates Of Hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dunwich Horror See more »

Filming Locations:

Mendocino, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"A.I.P" productions originally announced the making of "The Dunwich Horror" in 1963. 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.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Dunwich Horror (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Campy Yet Worthwhile Lovecraft Adaptation

"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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