Films

REVIEW: The Oblong Box (1969)

REVIEW: The Oblong Box (1969)
Staff Writer

The Oblong Box


Buy The Oblong Box from Amazon
TITLE: The Oblong Box

YEAR RELEASED: 1969

DIRECTOR: Gordon Hessler

CAST: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Alister Williamson, Rupert Davies, Uta Levka and Sally Geeson

PLOT: Revenge, justice and murder served up at knife point in Hessler’s tale of brotherly love and Voodoo.

FUN FACT: This movie was respected supporting actor Alister Williamson’s only starring role. Unfortunately his voice was deemed unsuitable and he was dubbed by another actor.

140-CHARACTER MINI-REVIEW: Body snatching, murder and voodoo in this taught shocker, which is unrelated to the Poe story of the same name.

WIKIPEDIA ENTRY: Click here

IMDB ENTRY: Click here

BUY FROM AMAZON: Click here


REVIEW BY CHARLIE ALBERTSON


Sir Edward Markham (Alister Williamson) is cursed by a Voodoo Witch Doctor for an unidentified transgression.

Held captive by his brother, Julian (Price), he longs for freedom and so fakes his death to escape his brother’s control.

However, it all goes wrong when crooked family lawyer, Trench, leaves Sir Edward in the grave, expecting him to die.

Cue hapless grave robbers who, upon “resurrecting” Sir Edward, deliver the “corpse” to Dr Newhartt (Lee), where he revives.

Having first-hand knowledge of Lee’s illegal activities, Sir Edward blackmails the unlucky Doctor in to giving him shelter and a base of operations from which to plan and execute his bloody revenge.

This movie is a thickly cut slice of gothic horror coupled with post-Colonial guilt, boasting lush, Hammer-like sets and top notch directing.

Originally, The Oblong Box was intended to be directed by Michael Reeves but, owing to his untimely death at the age of 25 a substitute had to be found.

Hessler does a good job and would go on to distinguish himself in several modestly successful genre films, but one can’t help but imagine what this movie could have been with Reeve at the helm.

Ultimately, the main weakness of this tale is the make-up job used to realise Sir Edward’s “curse”. It looks like a bad case of acne.

Hessler does do a first rate job of gradually revealing Sir Julian’s crime for which he was cursed.

I won’t spoil it for you but the denouement does pack a bit of a punch. Poignant also is Price’s fate.

There are no winners in this movie and one is left with the inescapable conclusion that one’s sins will always find one out.


Guest writer CHARLIE ALBERTSON was born in Yorkshire but has lived in Northamptonshire for 24 year where he teaches Media Studies and English.  Married with two children, obsessed by horror movies, prog rock and PS3, Charlie’s own blog can be read here.



View Comments (1)

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

More in Films

Modern-Mythmakers-Banner

Author tells of Modern Mythmakers

Guest Writer24th July 2015
Cry-of-the-Banshee-opener

15 fun facts about Cry of the Banshee (1970)

Peter Fuller23rd July 2015
Vampire DJ Grimorg

‘Vampiir Bitez’ fills London skies with horror

Staff Writer23rd July 2015
Victoria Price Video Screenshot

Victoria Price is excited about London!

Staff Writer16th July 2015
Vincent-Price-The-Last-Man-on-Earth

15 things you didn’t know about The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Peter Fuller19th June 2015
Christopher Lee in Sleepy Hollow

Sir Chris Lee’s death means the loss of a childhood friend, says Tressa Yeomans

Guest Writer14th June 2015
Christopher Lee

Sleep well Sir Christopher Lee, says Katie Doherty

Katie Doherty14th June 2015
Terence Fisher directs Christopher Lee as Dracula

Andrew Garvey on Christopher Lee: I’ll miss him

Andrew Garvey14th June 2015
Christopher-Lee-as-Saruman

11 amazing but true facts about Christopher Lee

MJ Steel Collins11th June 2015
Christopher-Lee

Goodnight, Dark Prince: Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015) OBITUARY

Richard Phillips-Jones11th June 2015
The-Cutting-Room

The Cutting Room (2015) REVIEW

Staff Writer7th June 2015
Roddy McDowall in Legend of Hell House

The Legend Of Hell House (1973) REVIEW

Richard Phillips-Jones1st June 2015




×