HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
   
 
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
   
 
  Crucible of Terror A Game Of Statues
Year: 1971
Director: Ted Hooker
Stars: Mike Raven, Mary Maude, James Bolam, Ronald Lacey, Betty Alberge, John Arnatt, Beth Morris, Judy Matheson, Melissa Stribling, Kenneth Keeling, Me Me Lai
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jack Davies (James Bolam) is staging an art exhibition at a London gallery in the hope that he'll make a decent profit, but the businessman who lent him the cash to get it up and running is now breathing down his neck to make sure he gets his money back. However, when the businessman takes one look at a sculpture of a nude there, he is entranced and demands that he be able to buy it, even though it has already been sold. Frustrated, he leaves, only to return that night to steal the life-size sculpture: and why is it life-sized? Because the artist, Victor Clare (Mike Raven) is insane and has used an actual female body to create it...

My, that all sounds very exciting, doesn't it? Alas, nothing could be further from the truth in Crucible of Terror, which eschews any suspense and action to go straight for the low budget standby of having the cast conduct lengthy and cliché-ridden conversations with each other, not the promising foundation of anyone's idea of a gripping horror movie. It does have a footnote in screen history as it was the first of the handful of attempts of Mike Raven to establish himself as a fright icon in the mould of Christopher Lee, an ambition that was to be wrecked on the shores of a dwindling interest in homegrown chillers and the fact that he wasn't really best suited to such things.

Raven had made his name in the British public's consciousness through his work as a Radio 1 disc jockey, specialising in rhythm and blues music, in which he was an expert. But the lure of the silver screen proved too attractive, and come the seventies he was carving a very limited niche in horrors, which he was very sincere about pursuing, but was thwarted after just four films, only two of which he managed to attain star billing in. His last, Disciple of Death, has been barely seen since its initial release, but Crucible of Terror has lapsed into public domain and turns up on late night television and cheap DVDs with some regularity.

Al the better to bore the unwary, as this really is a chore to sit through, especially in light of the extremely arbitrary twist ending which makes a mockery of anyone who has watched this with a hope of working out who the killer is. Well, the first killer is the artist in his House of Wax kind of way, we see him pouring the bronze over the victim's body after all, but he is actually a red herring as there's another murderer stalking the Cornish grounds of his remote house, near an abandoned tin mine. So this is a prototype slasher movie, but not in a Mario Bava, hey that's stylish manner, more in an I'll set the camera up in the corner and you stand in front of it reciting your lines manner.

If this was a proper slasher movie, our final girl would be Millie (Mary Maude, who had better luck with The House That Screamed a couple of years before), as she wanders about trying to work out what is really going on. The victims are all killed in isolation so that convincing (to the other characters, that is) excuses can be made about where they have disappeared to, and if nothing else director Ted Hooker makes decent use of the sweeping locations and Cornish shoreline. Alas, most of the plot takes place on dingy sets: glamorous this is not, but even a grimy sense of danger would be an improvement on the trudge through casual cruelties that is on offer here. It's almost worth enduring for that explanation at the end, which is so ridiculous it provides a chuckle of disbelief, but that might be too high a price to pay for this. Music by Paris Rutherford.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3329 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: