WARNING TO PARENTS: Unlike almost all of Vincent Price's other horror films, this one has significant amounts of sex and nudity--some of which is rather violent and non-consensual. It is definitely NOT a film for young children. The nudity is all very exploitative and the torture scenes are rather intense. Exercise common sense when considering allowing your kids to see this very R-rated film.
This film is highly reminiscent of several of Price's other films of the era, such as WITCHFINDER GENERAL and DIARY OF A MADMAN. Each had to do with a magistrate who dispenses severe judgment in a sadistic and savage manner--most often with accused witches or innocent sexy ladies. And in each film, this supposed doer of good is actually much more wicked and worldly than the people he judges.
This particular film is set during the Tudor period in England. Price is lord of a manor and takes great delight in killing, torturing and raping accused witches. This time, however, he's not alone in his "duty" as his son seems to be a chip off the old block--and he, too, spends much of his time tormenting young maidens and his daughter takes delight in seducing men as well. It's so bad that the locals actually would probably prefer to have the town overrun with witches--they couldn't be nearly as wicked as Price's foul brood. So, it's up to the surviving witches to come to the rescue and purge this town of this ruling family.
Despite Price's character being 100% scum, there is a big plot hole in the film. When Oona the witch and her band of witches are caught having one of their ceremonies, half of them are hacked to death by Price's band of thugs. Then, inexplicably, he lets Oona and a few of the survivors to go!! This makes even less sense when Oona tells Price that she'll get revenge!! At this point, why didn't he just blow her head off and be done with it?! If I were this evil and someone threatened to kill me, I sure would have had them killed instantly! So apparently, Price is evil AND stupid! So it's certainly no surprise to anyone but Price when Oona releases the powers of Satan on him and his wicked family.
As you can tell by my description so far, this is not typical of Vincent Price's other horror films. While in many he plays wicked men who abuse their power, none are as sensual or sexually abusive as this film. Some may like this style of film, but many will likely be turned off by the nudity and in particular the rapes and sexual abuse. It just seems to cross the line--making the film a lot less fun than the usual Price horror film. Plus, audience members who have experienced sexual abuse themselves might find this all very disturbing indeed.
Now this isn't to say that this is a poor quality film (aside from some cheesy hell hound scenes). In fact, in many ways it's much better made than the Roger Corman films of the 1960s that made Price so famous. The cinematography, sets, twist ending and acting are all pretty good--but also very gritty and unpleasant as well--though you no doubt will enjoy seeing the hell hound rip this wicked clan to pieces and seeing others driven insane! All in all, a very scary but even more unpleasant film--one that lacks fun or charm and can be a chore to watch. I think BaronBl00d's review put it best when it described the film as "...one of the most depraved, heartless, cold centers of any film I have seen in a long time". I certainly can't recommend it and hope never to see this film again--even thought I really do like Price's horror films.
By the way, in a funny mistake in the film, watch the scene where an accused witch is being roasted over a fire. She screams and screams so much that Price's nice son comes to her rescue. Now here's the funny part--as this son fights with the torturer, the lady just hangs there and just blandly looks on--and doesn't scream at all even though she STILL is hanging over the fire!! Then, when the fight is over, she begins screaming again! It's all very poorly done and gave me a chuckle.
Cry of the Banshee
Action / Horror
Cry of the Banshee
Action / Horror
In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!) —Marg Baskin
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 20, 2021 at 01:52 PM