HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  Macabre Six Feet UnderBuy this film here.
Year: 1958
Director: William Castle
Stars: William Prince, Jim Backus, Christine White, Jacqueline Scott, Susan Morrow, Philip Tonge, Jonathan Kidd, Dorothy Morris, Howard Hoffman, Ellen Corby, Linda Guderman, Voltaire Perkins
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The undertaker of this smalltown has called the local police sheriff, Jim Tyloe (Jim Backus), to report the theft of a child's coffin, but the sheriff is not exactly sympathetic thanks to the general belief that the undertaker charges too much for his services. Nevertheless, when they see local doctor, Rod Barrett (William Prince), parking his car across the street, they observe that he'd be better off leaving town thanks to his poor record of saving his patients - including his wife, who died three years before leaving him to bring up their daughter on his own.

So when the little girl goes missing from his home, he is frantic. And why is he reacting so agitatedly? Because his secretary Polly (Jacqueline Scott) recieves a telephone call from a mysterious party who laughs and gloats that he has kidnapped the child, and to make matter worse, he has buried her in that small coffin in the town's graveyard! What happens after that may not have been a classic of the horror movie, but it certainly provided its creator William Castle with fresh territory to explore, as it was the first of his gimmicky, sensationally-advertised horrors after many years toiling in B-movies.

This set him on a new dawn in his career, as now his dream of being as renowned as Alfred Hitchcock, complete with his name prominently featured as a means of selling his movies, was to be realised over the next nearly twenty years. Well, almost - there were few who would place Castle and his exploitative productions up there with as true innovator like Hitchcock, and in truth he rarely reached the heights The Master of Suspense did, not for the length of a whole film, at any rate. But he really did know how to sell his work, usually with some kind of unique proposition inspired by carnival hucksters.

Therefore with Macabre the ploy to get the audiences into the cinemas was to insure them for death by fright, thanks to an arrangement with Lloyds of London, thereby building up the picture's potential for scaring you out of your skin to giddy heights. Not that much in the process of watching it would actually do that, but Castle was willing to go to grimmer places than many directors at the time, so while much of Macabre was leadfooted in effect, there were a couple of moments which could legitimately be said to conjure a genuine jump. Maybe not now, where these conventions are so hackneyed, but back then he managed it.

Even in the film itself we were treated to a narrator setting out the premise of the insurance over the image of a ticking clock above the funeral parlour to emphasise the race against time the characters were forced to conduct, and once more remind audiences that this was going to be the scariest movie they had ever seen. That went pretty well in 1958, as Castle was rewarded with a big hit, but now it plays like one of those contemporary radio plays with a couple of concessions to the visuals - it was actually based on a novel written by a number of mystery authors, one chapter each - though the smalltown mood is nicely conveyed, generating an atmosphere that just about lives up to the title thanks to how much of it takes place around death. It was all over with in barely over an hour, so economy was one of its strong points even if polish was not. Music by Les Baxter.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1976 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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: