Vincent Price makes one of his most believable and darkest character portraits playing the real witch hunter Matthew Hopkins. The movie is pretty brutal with sex and torture mixed together. It feels authentic and believable. Especially, the ending is pretty grim.
REEVES worked as Don Siegel's assistant. In Italy, as an assistant director on Castle of the Living Dead with Christopher Lee & director on La Sorella di Satana (1965) with Barbara Steele. Back in London in 1966, Reeves did The Sorcerers, with Boris Karloff, Ian Ogilvy acting in both movies. Reeves is best known for his 4th & last movie, Witchfinder General, he directed at 24. He died at 25 from burnout & overdose.
Classic late 60s horror kitsch, with Vincent Price hamming it up in the lead role. The reason I end up watching this film every six months or so is for the beautiful Suffolk scenery and archicture, much of which is still the same today, only with less wenches in polyester milkmaid dresses these days
This is not a very good film. But this is why I like it. You have to admire the dynamism of the film; it cuts out a lot of bullshit that so many films like to stew over. However, it tells a story set during the English Civil War and makes it interesting (as it is a fairly boring period compared to many others). One of those films you can watch time and time again.
Visually rough & unpolished but relentlessly, nihilistically cruel and depraved film that translates its own disgust for all human violence extraordinarily effectively to an audience unaccustomed to its bracing, naked honesty (especially for its time & genre). Revels in demystifying the hero-worship of English military history & fairytale gender relations (the failure of Prince Charming, the ceaseless horrors of war)
Vellaem: This is actaully a very good movie. Price's acting is top natch (this is the only movie in which I didn't find him the least bit likable), the direction was solid and I don't know what you mean when you say "the story was weak" as this was based on true events (though there may have been some liberties taken). Really the only problem with it is the slightly anti-clmatic ending.
The film itself leaves much to be desired, but we can see its limited budget. What it was able to achieve with such little resources is great. The lack of money only heightens the realism that is induced by shooting on location. By no means a great film, but this is Price at his coldest. Gone is the Price from the Poe films, and the deranged eccentrics Dr. Phibes and Lionheart. This is a truly brutal character.
You keep waiting for Price to lose control of his character and fall into his usual hammy schtick, but he never does. While most of his roles can be pared down to campy caricatures of, well, Vincent Price, Matthew Hopkins is a fully realized character. The performance IS over the top, but only in a manner which the film requires. Hopkins is one of the most disgusting figures in cinema. Vastly underappreciated movie
For the most part a well modulated balance between pastoral lyricism and bloodletting; sadly mired by a genre confirming climax. Price slices his ham more leanly on this occasion. Alongside The Wicker Man, one of the few films to tap successfully into the lurking sense of unease and danger in the British countryside.