Witchfinder General (1968) Movie Review

Director: Michael Reeves

Writer: Tom Baker, Michael Reeves (Screenplay) Ronald Bassett (Novel)

Starring: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies, Hilary Heath, Robert Russell, Nicky Henson

Plot: A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch-hunter when the latter terrorizes his fiancée and kills her uncle.

Tagline – He’ll hang, burn and mutilate you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Shock Horror 60’s Horror

Story: Witchfinder General starts in the middle of the English Civil War, where soldiers fight for and against Oliver Cromwell are travelling around the country. Matthew Hopkins (Price) leads a group of soldiers who play into the superstitions of small village, punishing women they believe to be witches, while Richard Marshall (Ogilvy) is preparing to marry Sara (Heath) the niece of a priest.

When Hopkins and his men arrive in the village, they continue their witch hunt, where they target the priest with John Stearne (Russell) the sadistic member continues to torture the people, until Richard decides to fight back for his people.

Thoughts on Witchfinder General

Characters – Matthew Hopkins is the man that believes he is right to be hunting for witches in towns, he will go to extreme lengths to get the witches giving them no chance of surviving the trials, letting his men do the more sadistic work for him, using his position of power to seduce women. Richard Marshall fights for the king, he sees the witchfinder come into his town and after what they do to his family, he risks his own life to hunt down the witchfinder to get revenge. Sara is the niece of a priest that is accused of witchcraft, she will do anything to save her uncle, being taken advantage of by Hopkins, while seeing her husband Richard going out for revenge. John Stearne is the man that enjoys performing the sadistic rituals to find out whether people are witches or not, though he can become paranoid about whether he will get captured or not.

PerformancesVincent Price is a horror icon and it shows how he could dominate the genre in his career here, easily be the star of the show, with the rest of the cast struggling to keep up with him.

StoryThe story here follows a group of soldiers that travel around to small village to torture people claiming they are witches, only after they picked the wrong village, as one of the soldiers for the king goes in search for revenge against the witchfinder. This does play into the superstitions of the world with witch hunting which will become the main source of the story and how people would react to the hunting. It does fall into a standard revenge thriller and is more interested in trying for shocks over anything else.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from seeing how the world is treating potential witches and what Hopkins and his men do to them.

SettingsThe film does use the locations to show us the English countryside with small villages that would live in fear.

Scene of the Movie – The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too generic in how the story unfolds.

Final Thoughts This is your typical 60s British horror that does everything right without being anything as ground breaking as it could have been.

Overall: Typical British Horror.

Coming Monday to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital – The Iron Mask

Signature Entertainment presents The Iron Mask on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital 8th June

THE IRON MASK sees action legends Jackie Chan (Rush Hour) and Arnold
Schwarzenegger (Total Recall) team up in a high concept fantasy historical epic
featuring breath-taking fights and stunning visuals.
Set in the 18th century, The Iron Mask follows English traveler Jonathan Green
(Jason Flemyng, Layer Cake) as he journeys from Russia to China encountering
dragons, black magic wizardry and a dragon king during an incredible but deadly
The action adventure also stars Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) and Rutger
Hauer (Blade Runner).

Upcoming Release – The Wishmas Tree – June 15th

Signature Entertainment presents The Wishmas Tree on Digital HD from June 15th

Synopsis: A cute, colourful, magical and uplifting animated adventures based on the best-selling book franchise Tales from Sanctuary City. Featuring the voice of British comedian Ross Noble, The Wishmas Tree tells the story of a young possum’s misguided wish for a white Wishmas. A desire that not only freezes her town but threatens the lives of all that live there. In order to save Sanctuary City, she journeys on a perilous adventure into the wild and, along with some help from her furry friends, must reverse the damage and save her city. Voice cast includes Ross Noble, Miranda Tapsell, Kate Murphy

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – C – Mortal Engines (2018) Movie Review

This is under C because of the director Christian Rivers.

Director: Christian Rivers

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (Screenplay) Philipe Reeve (Book)

Starring: Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide

Plot: In a post-apocalyptic world where cities ride on wheels and consume each other to survive, two people meet in London and try to stop a conspiracy.

Tagline – Some scars never heal.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Hugely Ambitious

Story: Mortal Engines starts in a world destroyed by war, the cities of the world move on wheels, as Hester Shaw (Hilmar) lives on a small mining city that gets consumed by London, under control of Thaddeus Valentine (Weaving). In London Tom Natsworthy (Sheehan) has come from the bottom to work in the museum studying to ancient technology that caused the destruction of Earth.

After Hester misses her chance to kill Thaddeus, she gets thrown out of the town with Tom who has learnt the betray that Thaddeus has in his search for power, leave the two to need to work together to stop his plan which could result in more destruction of the world.

Thoughts on Mortal Engines

Characters – Hester Shaw is a young woman who has been living on the outlands searching for Thaddeus, waiting for her chance of revenge on him, she is used to living alone without another human around until she is forced to work with Tom to get another chance at the revenge she has waited a lifetime for, tough and knowing how to survive the different environments, she becomes his guide for the most part. Tom lives in London, working in the museum waiting for a chance to dump the old tech which could cause a new war, but after trying to capture Hester he gets betrayed by Thaddeus, where he must work with her to get back to London. Thaddeus Valentine has been working on his own new energy source in London, one that could give him control of the city if not the world, only the people of the city see him as a idol, saviour, until more people learn of his evil plan to start a new war and his past with Hester. Anna Fang is a bounty hunter that has been searching for Hester, she knows how to handle combat and shows the calm in a fight for Hester to learn from.

PerformancesHera Hilmar in the leading role is great to watch, she shows the broken past of her character while also the strength to get revenge. Robert Sheehan is the weaker of the four leads, but doesn’t do anything wrong, though Hugo Weaving as a villain is always a pleasure to watch, Jihae oozes the cool character in this film with her actions.

StoryThe story here follows the world after a war which has seen the cities turned into moveable objects that travel the world, with the biggest looking to consume the smallest for resources, we follow one woman on her own mission for revenge against a man trying to start his own new war. The story is the weakest part of the whole film, this is mostly because we don’t learn enough about the war which caused everything or how the cities become so moveable, learning more on this would help explain why everybody wants to be in a city, despite the risk of a bigger one find them. When it comes to everything we see unfold, we do dive into a lot of side quests, which don’t get enough time, leading me to believe we could have had this story told in a television form just to flush out little moments of everything involved. The core revenge storyline is simple enough and the desire for power is everything we have seen before.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in this film is big, it is giant cities chasing each other, giant air battles, it is all want we want from this style of film, with the idea of a future where this has happened all together as one.

SettingsThe film here does create the giant cities of the future which do keep the landmarks of the original cities, with the modern adjustments around them.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with how everything looks for the cities that can move, transform from normal to defence or attack position, to seeing the flying crafts and not forget the Shrike characters that looks terrifying.

Scene of the Movie – The Shrike’s first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough time on the side quests.

Final Thoughts This is an ambitious movie that looks amazing on paper, as strong characters and performance, only it falls short on the amount it needs to cover to get the most out of the story.

Overall: Brilliant Ideas.