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 *

More in Films

Howl-2015

Howl (2015) REVIEW

Simon Ball28th January 2016
Outpost-Scene

Outpost (2008) REVIEW

Simon Ball18th January 2016
Channel-Four-Horror-List-for-1986

Remembering Channel 4’s Monster Horrors Season (1986)

Richard Phillips-Jones9th January 2016
Cherry Tree 2015 poster

Cherry Tree (2015) REVIEW

Andrew Garvey6th January 2016
Emma-Dark-in-Seize-the-Night

Emma Dark talks about Seize the Night

Staff Writer2nd January 2016
Dead of Night (1945)

10 things you didn’t know about Dead of Night (1945)

Guest Writer1st January 2016
Darklands-Poster

Darklands (1996) REVIEW

Simon Ball2nd December 2015
The Unkindness of Ravens

The Unkindness Of Ravens

MJ Steel Collins30th November 2015
Pride and Predjudice and Zombies

New trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! VIDEO

David Saunderson26th November 2015
Crimson-Peak

Crimson Peak (2015) REVIEW

Ann O'Regan9th November 2015
An-evening-with-Boris-Karloff-and-Friends

An Evening with Boris Karloff and His Friends (1967) AUDIO

Richard Phillips-Jones25th October 2015
Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince Film Poster

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) REVIEW

Sarah Blair-Dickinson20th October 2015