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Author Topic: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)  (Read 3735 times)

ecc

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Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« on: 05 Aug 2008 - 12:39 »

Any opinions on this one?  It's the better of Mike Raven's two starring performances (DISCIPLE OF DEATH - which he partially funded - is downright awful).  In the pre-credit sequence we see molten bronze being poured into a mold containing an unconscious woman (Mi Mi Lay).  The resulting statue has been pinched by the artist's drunken son Michael (Ronald Lacey) to be sold at the gallery of struggling dealer Jack (James Bolam) whose lover Joanna (Melissa Stribling) has funded the event using her husband's money.  Her husband becomes obsessed with the statue and wants to buy it even though it has already been sold.  He returns to the gallery after it has closed to steal it but is murdered by an unseen killer.  Meanwhile, Jack, his model girlfriend Millie (Mary Maude), and Michael go to the Cornish coast to possibly get more of his father's artwork to sell.  The reclusive artist Victor Clare (Mike Raven), who lives with his demented wife Dorothy (Betty Alberge), despite having Judy Matheson (who he co-starred with in LUST FOR A VAMPIRE) around to model for him, is inspired by Millie's beauty and wants her to model for him.  Meanwhile, various members of the cast get picked off in gory manners.

That's pretty much it.  It doesn't really build towards its out-of-left-field climax so much as stumble onto it and we need a belabored explanation by a family friend to refer us back to a seemingly innocuous scene early in the film that's supposed to explain it all.  Still, its relatively entertaining and nicely gory for an early seventies British film in its uncut form.  I would not have bothered renting the DVD of this as I had a copy of it on tape until I read the Video Watchdog review a while ago that mentioned that the DVD presented the original uncut version for the first time in the U.S.  I have no idea whether the previous tape releases (this was one of the original PD eyesores on tape) were a TV version or if the US theatrical release was cut but the murders are significantly more graphic and there is an additional scene where Millie is running through the catacombs and comes across a bizarre shrine built by Dorothy and also come across her corpse.

The Image DVD is now out of print but there is a budget disc out there though I have no idea if its the uncut version or sourced from one of the PD tapes.

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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #1 on: 05 Aug 2008 - 13:27 »

I don't have the DVD but I do remember seeing this on TV a few years ago, maybe a few months after the DVD came out. The print shown on TV was in great shape and was widescreen so I assumed at the time it was the same version as the DVD.

Enjoyed it, not enough to warrant me picking up the DVD though.  :-\
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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #2 on: 05 Aug 2008 - 13:28 »

I've not seen a widescreen version of this - do you still have a copy f it from TV?
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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #3 on: 05 Aug 2008 - 13:32 »

I've not seen a widescreen version of this - do you still have a copy of it from TV?

No, it was from before I had a DVD recorder. Didn't have widescreen TV at the time either, that's how I remember it being W/S as I recall seeing the black bars on screen.
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ecc

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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #4 on: 05 Aug 2008 - 13:41 »

The Image DVD was fullscreen.

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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #5 on: 05 Aug 2008 - 13:52 »

I'm pretty sure my mind isn't playing tricks on me, I'm sure there were black bars when I saw it on TV last. Wasn't 1.85:1 though, more like 1.66:1.

I remember posting about it being on TV over at DVD Maniacs at the time but their files only seem to go back to the middle of last year so I can't look up the post.

This is driving me nuts now  ???
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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #6 on: 08 Aug 2008 - 09:45 »

Perhaps it could be 1.66:1.  The Image disc is full frame and seems a bit tight on some shots but the BBFC X certificate card is not cropped.

I forgot to mention in my review that while Mary Maude makes an okay heroine she's not given much to do here and is much more effective in more imperious roles like the head girl in THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED or underused in the film-within-a-film opening of Norman J. Warren's TERROR.  Any other good horror roles from her?

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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #7 on: 28 Jul 2010 - 21:12 »

I believe Severin will be releasing this one.

fdsmedia

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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #8 on: 29 Jul 2010 - 14:46 »

The UK disc is supposed to be full frame too... just ordered it and should receive it next week.
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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #9 on: 02 Oct 2010 - 03:00 »

Got my review copy today.

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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #10 on: 05 Oct 2010 - 14:23 »

Eric's review is now on the main site...

Crucible of Terror - Severin DVD review
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Re: Crucible of Terror (Ted Hooker, 1971)
« Reply #11 on: 29 Apr 2012 - 09:19 »

Review link above now fixed  :'(
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