Crucible of Terror (1971)

   

Directed by: Ted Hooker

Written by:
Ted Hooker & Tom Parkinson

Starring:

Mike Raven .... Victor Clare
James Bolam .... John Davies
Mary Maude .... Millie
Ronald Lacey .... Michael Clare
Betty Alberge .... Dorothy Clare
John Arnatt .... Bill
Beth Morris .... Jane Clare
Judy Matheson .... Marcia

Release Date: Theatrical: 1971

 

 

Rating:

 

A demented sculptor who is obsessed in doing his art right kills a young woman to make a perfect bronze sculpture of her.
Years
go by and a bunch of people go to a secluded home hosted by a man named Victor Clare (Mike Raven) who seems a bit odd and obnoxious at times along with the other residents there too.
One of the people staying there named Millie (Mary Maude) doesn't have a good feeling about the place as people become trapped in a web of revenge, murder and horror.

 

The story looks dark and interesting at first in which we spot someone creating some sort of hot wax and then pouring it on someone while watching this looked perfectly twisted and making you wonder why he is doing such a thing here.
We also have another moment with
a character named George Brent getting obsessive over a scuplture and acts aggressive about it in which this looked pretty cheesy to watch but yet well written making you wonder if he's a suspect to the madness that's going on here. Later on we do have a still and dark moment involving him and suddenly is attacked by having a pastic wrap around his head making him suffocate to death which was supposed to be a jumping moment here but yet that fails to do so. However I was convinced that this was what inspired Roy Moore to use for the famous killing in Black Christmas as their version worked alot better.
We have some situations with the characters Bill and John talking about what went on at the place they're going to in which this was supposed to look suspenseful within their conversations but seemed a little cheesy to watch all of this and having a hard time taking this moment seriously.
Yet the conversations between John and his wife Millie seems to flow in nicely about them talking about that they feel where they're going that they already know the place which was nicely put in adding good flavor here for what we may expect to happen later on.
There's some interesting moments at a dinner table hosted by Victor Clare himself in which we spot some strange discussions happening including a woman named Dorothy Clare talking to a stuffed dog as well as aggressive moments by Victor with all that is happening here. This looked nicely set out.
There's a good camera shot on someone wearing a freaky mask that pits against Millie which looked nicely done by how this was all set up as well as a good close up camera shot on her screaming in terror in bed.
We spot an interesting suggestive lesbian scene with Jane Clare trying to come on to Mille while they're suntanning and discussing by doing nude suntanning as this grabs your attention plus making this moment look a bit creepy too. There's even a moment with Jane throwing stones at Bill which looks like she's trying to tease him and then it seems to look more serious while we keep watching this. The moment here looked perfectly twisted as to why she's doing this to him and it gets even worst and deadly while we keep watching on what's happening here.

We spot some twisted discussions with Dorothy towards Millie telling her that her stuffed dog likes her else it would bite in which this was supposed to make the scene spooky having a strange woman discuss this but instead it's laughable but in a good way. Just alot of cheesy writing and performing here.
We do spot many dysfunctional discussions between John and Millie with her being scared to be at the place in which this adds some good mysterious suspense to the story while we spot all of this. It looked good and strong.
Also there's a scene with Victor holding Dorothy's doll and her telling him the doll will start crying in which he gets menacing with the doll as this looked pretty disturbing and intense to watch as well as another perfectly twisted moment within the writing of this film.
We also spot a situation with Millie modelling for Victor with him doing a painting and then coming onto her strongly which was a nice focus here as well as her trying to get away from him and he acts aggressive trying to chase her which adds some nice dark suspense from what we see is going on in this scene as well as the revealing of this killer. Plus near the end of the story there's a good shocking moment which looked perfectly creepy that involved Millie but I won't give it away. There was good make up effects that was involved here as I will say that for sure.
Bottom line is that the storyline is confusing and a bit slow. There are some interesting moments but otherwise a bad film and pretty bland stuff. It really lacks a suspenseful plot that I will say. There's some interesting artsy moments here and there as well this being perfectly twisted. However it doesn't save the story from being an average horror flick. Easily forgettable too.

The acting is fairly passable in which we have a decent performance by Mike Raven (Victor Clare) who shows off a charming type of personality in which he comes off as too friendly that there's something untrustworthy about him in which he was clever by performing in this matter. Also does a nice job whenever he shows his aggressive side and menacing attitude too. He was good with his blocking and seemed to be right on target with whatever he does here. Plus had the devilish types of looks for this role which helps as well.
James Bolam
(John Davies) seemed to pull off his role pretty well as the mr. nice guy charming fellow who seems to flow in well with his discussions as well as trying to keep a sanity on stuff which also looked fairly impressive. Shows off nice energy within his aggressions too. Shows off some good adrenaline whenever he needed to with the suspenseful situations. He was a passable character actor.
Mary Maude (Millie) shows off her role pretty well in portraying an innocent type which works in well for a horror story as she shows off a nice intelligent type of behavior. Plus she does well in a scene at the beach acting happy and then later on uncomfortable as she gets into this nicely. Plus shows great lung power in certain parts like waking up from a horrible nightmare. Plus shows a perfect paranoid type of attitude when she gets scared of stuff which shows a nice hype to her personality here almost losing control. Shows a nice versatality into what she does in the story.
Betty Alberge (Dorothy Clare) portrays someone who has no marbles in which she seemed a bit too over the top at times with her hyped speaking. She seems to get into it okay at other times. Shows a good upsetting type of behavior whenever she had to do this. A good pointer here is that she seemed to be a real attention grabber coming across perfectly like this onto the camera.
John Arnatt
(Bill) was a natural ham in his part of the story showing off a nicely witful personality as well as showing good sarcasm too. However he seemed to try a little too hard at doing other stuff which doesn't look convincing like acting drunk and obnoxious in which he was supposed to act intense and this lacked a bit. He does react well to certain things like having stones thrown at him and being in shock and pain from this so he is half good at what he does with this role.
Judy Matheson (Marcia) came across wonderfully as the mysterious type and a nice horror character too. Does a good job acting full of life in one scene and then coming on strongly too making her motive very strange like. Plus acts witty while throwing stones and then really getting into a wicked type of personality while doing this. She also does well with her straight speaking and getting aggressive and cold while doing this. Plus she had the right looks for this. A good pat on the back for this actress.

There's some good clarniet playing as well as the odd snakecharmer type of composing too which works in well for the low budget. Plus we hear some odd drum playing for the adrenilised scene's as it sounds very clear. Plus there's some light peaceful piano playing which at times seems to fit in certain parts but not all. For a mysterious scene we also hear some buzzsaw noises which sounds quite different in a horror flick and yet works in nicely too. There's also the odd trumpet playing too which doesn't sound anything special. All of this was put together by Paris Rutherford.