HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  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 1299 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: