Renowned hypnotist and ventriloquist the Great Vorelli (Bryant Haliday) thrills London with his amazing dummy Hugo (David Charlesworth). But when Vorelli infuriates his mistress, Magda (Sandra Dorne), after seducing a wealthy heiress, he tricks his dummy into keeping Magda quiet — very quiet. This underrated British horror treat features some spooky images by cinematographer Gerald Gibbs.
Lindsay Craig Shonteff (5 November 1935-11 March 2006) was a Canadian born film director, film producer and screenwriter who achieved fame for low budget films produced in England.
Lindsay Shonteff was born in Toronto, Ontario and made his directing, producing, editing and screenwriting debut in 1961 with a Canadian made Western The Hired Gun/The Last Gunfighter. After the film’s release, Shonteff went to England following his friend Sidney J. Furie. Shonteff’s English debut was Devil Doll (1964) that Furie was originally scheduled to direct. Furie was offered a more prestigious film so recommended his fellow Canadian Shonteff. Richard Gordon said Furie advised Shonteff throughout the making of the film. Shonteff had to re-edit the horror tale of a ventriloquest’s dummy to avoid an X rating from the British Board of Film Censors.
This film led to interest from Columbia Pictures for a contract but Shonteff argued over the matter and the contract did not come through. read more