20 April 2024
Cry of the Banshee (1970)
91 min.
Directed by Gordon Hessler.
With Vincent Price, Elizabeth Bergner, Carl Rigg, Essy Persson, Hugh Griffith, Hilary Dwyer, Patrick Mower, Sally Geeson, Marshall Jones.
Vinnie tries his best, but he alone can't enliven this flat and rather dull witch horror.

Mean-spirited magistrate Edward Whitman (Price) is a ruthless witchhunter who seeks out local heathens, torturing them for confessions and ultimately killing them.

But when he raids the coven of head sorceress Oona (Bergner), he incurs an evil curse upon his entire household...in the form of some wolfen-banshee creature (Mower).

Soon, the Whitman family is disappearing one by one. Lord Whitman maintains the deaths are the work of some mad dog, but we know better, don't we?

This generally uninteresting terror flick is well directed by genre regular Hessler, but it lacks any sense of vitality in its characters (doing her best Ophelia, Lady Patricia is particularly irritating).

To make matters worse, it's marred by a slipshod rhythm of urgency undermined by no real suspense. Only the ending musters any gusto.

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