WITCHCRAFT Chaney old score massacre
released 26 september 1964 | 12 | dVd Director don sharp Cast lon Chaney Jr, Jack Hedley, Jill dixon, Viola Keats
For fans of vintage horror, this unimaginatively-titled effort has numerous points of interest. The cast includes original Wolfman Lon Chaney Jr. The plot recalls Mario Bava classic Mask Of Satan. And director Don Sharp also helmed films like Psychomania. Sadly, it’s a pretty tepid affair.
The Lanier and Whitlock families have been enemies for 300 years, since the Laniers dobbed in Vanessa Whitlock as a witch. Now the feud comes to the boil as redevelopment sees her grave bulldozed, releasing her to wreak revenge.
The cinematography’s attractive, and the mute, unblinking Vanessa is a menacing presence. Her MO doesn’t exactly scream 17th century, though; twice she tries to dispatch Laniers by bewitching them into driving their cars into a rubbish tip. An across-the-divide love affair subplot is drearily drippy. And the script seems uncertain whether the focus is its mysteriously resurrected witch or a Whitlock family coven; somewhat bewilderingly, the two have practically nothing to do with one another.
Extras Interviews with the composer and the continuity person; trailer; an episode of Chaney-fronted anthology show 13 Demon Street. Ian Berriman
Don Sharp remembered Chaney Jr as a very lonely man, with a drink problem. “After lunch it was very difficult…”
“Let me out of this greenhouse!”