Friday, October 19, 2018

Halloween - The Cry of the Banshee (1970)

Cry of the Banshee (1970) directed by Gordon Hessler and starring Vincent Price, Essy Persson, and Patrick Mower.  Vincent Price plays Lord Edward Whitman who shows a sadistic in torturing and killing those accused of witchcraft.  He then makes the mistake of crossing Oona a matronly witch who refers to her followers as her "children."  Lord Whitman shoots and kills several of Oona's children on can be only described as a hunt.  Yes.  A witch hunt.

Of course, Oona vows revenge and summons an "avenger" in the shape of a Sidhe.  

You'll have to watch the movie to get the rest of the story.  And be sure to check out the wonderful opening credits.  Does the style of animation look familiar?  It should, it was done by none other than (pre-Monty Python) Terry Gilliam!

I see the trend in my favorite horror movies now.  Most of them were ones I watched when I was very young, either made-for-TV or at the drive-in theater.  There were at least five drive-ins in the area where I grew up.  I am pretty sure the last one standing was The Egyptian in Herrin.  It was still there as late as 1989, but it too finally met the wrecking ball.

I probably saw this in 71 or 72.  It took that long for the movies to make to the drive-in circuit then.  It is a film with very low lighting so I could barely make out what the Sidhe looked like.  I had to wait quite some time, fifteen years or so, before I could watch the movie again.  On VHS, of course.

This is not one of Vincent Price's better films.  It's not his worst, either, but director Gordon Hessler was not a great director.  Price hams it up more than usual.  This could have been so much better of a film in the hands of Roger Corman.  Nevertheless, it gave me at least a few nights worth of nightmares.  At 9 years old, that's the criteria.

Video courtesy of DailyMotion

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