HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Crucible of the Vampire From Plot Device To Sacrifice
Year: 2019
Director: Ian Ross-McNamee
Stars: Katie Goldfinch, Florence Cady, Neil Morrissey, Charles O'Neill, Brian Croucher, Aaron Jeffcoate, Larry Rew, Babette Barat, Lisa Martin, John Stirling, Angela Carter, Phil Hemming
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Back in the seventeenth century, the witchfinders were abroad across the land, and one of the people they victimised was the father of a woman executed as a witch. When he was using his cauldron to cook up his stew, one of the authorities arrived and accused him of being in league with the Devil, not hearing any of his protests and cleaving his cauldron in two with his sword to prevent the spells he believed were being cast. The poor father ended up hanged from a tree nearby, but his cauldron has taken on some significance as an important historical relic, so when news comes that the other half of the existing object has been found at a stately home, interest is piqued in the archaeological community...

Imagine how strong you would have to be to slice a cauldron in two with a sword. Maybe it was made by a shoddy manufacturer? Maybe the witchfinder had been working out? Anyway, that was your MacGuffin to get then heroine to the stately home to be menaced, said heroine being lowly researcher Isabelle (Katie Goldfinch with the look of a young Alexandra Bastedo, fans of seventies also-ran - and possible influence here - The Ghoul may be interested to know). She was somehow encouraged by her boss (who may or may not be in on the overall scheme) to move into the rambling pile to conduct said research which appears to be to simply dig up the other half of the pot, an activity you wouldn't think would take days, or even a single afternoon, but the three screenwriters had to have some excuse to have her stick around.

As it turns out, the creepy family who are living there - elderly dad Karl (Larry Rew), middle-aged French maman Evelyn (Babette Barat) and snooty but overfamiliar daughter Scarlet (Florence Cady) - really want Isabelle to hang about, since, in one of many examples of blaring foreshadowing, she announces she doesn't believe in sex before marriage therefore, as she and her boyfriend have split up and she is a virgin, she will be ideal for, ooh, let's say a human sacrifice, to pluck a horror cliché out of the ether. If you can't see where this is going from the first ten minutes, you're simply not trying, it was so weighed down with dropping hints at to the awfulness of Isabelle's fate that it began to get comical rather than sinister. Funnily enough, Neil Morrissey played the gardener, best known for his comedy roles but keeping a straight face here, tied to the project by one of the writers who had made the considerably less serious I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle back in the nineteen-nineties.

There were so many borrowings from other, classic chillers that Crucible of the Vampire resembled a greatest hits package of horror its creators admired, even to the extent of lifting entire shots from the likes of The Omen and The Shining (Morrissey was basically playing Scatman Crothers, then, think on that concept). At just over an hour and a half, it had the feel of a thirty-minute short that had an unexpected budget boost in production so was padded out as a result (there was another historical flashback halfway through), and it did drag after a while even if you weren't playing spot the reference. However, stick with it and you would be rewarded with an energetic runaround for the last twenty minutes, all the better to showcase Cady's knicker-sniffing, Isabelle-masturbating, occasionally-fanged title character. She was a lot of fun and lifted the whole enterprise from its shot-on-a-cameraphone, home movies digital look, archly swanning around to the manor born and really deserving of a better setting for her gleeful villainy, the best thing here by far. As for the rest, it was too keen on "paying tribute" to stand on its own, but not a dead loss once it picked up steam. Music by Michelle Bee.

[Crucible of the Vampire hits cinemas on 1 February, and is available on Dual Edition (Blu-ray & DVD) and Digital from 4 February.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 780 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: