Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Oblong Box (1969) aka Dance, Mephisto

2.5 / 5 Jun '11
Tagline: For the first time... the classic tale of the restless dead and their unspeakable hungers!
Directed by: Gordon Hessler
Written by: Lawrence Huntington, Christopher Wicking, Edgar Allan Poe
Actors include: Rupert Davies, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee
Genre: Horror
Length: 97 minutes
Banned: Nope

Sigh, to think I'd been holding back on watching this one because I thought it would be decent. Instead it turns out that it's the weakest Vincent Price film I think I've seen yet. First of all it claims to be based around the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name, but it seems to share more in common with The Body Snatcher. The story is about Brothers Sir Julian Markham (Price), and his deformed sibling Sir Edward. The two were off in Africa when the "accident" happened that left Sir Edward disfigured shaming the bloodline Julian kept him chained away. Anyhow some sort of escape plan hatches for Sir Edward with some help, and he's drugged in order to escape in his coffin only to be dug up later of course. Julian is content thinking his Brother is dead, but when a feller in a red mask starts bothering people (as I don't see how tapping them with red paint would do any more than bother a person) he begins to wonder. I think this story could have been made to be interesting with a fair bit of tweaking, and of course raising the level of horror. This wasn't satisfying at all, even the kills were even boring! Even at 97 minutes it overstays it's welcome by a fair margin, I just wanted everyone to shut up and die already (not a really good sign). It's just shocking that a venture with Price and even having Christopher Lee appear in the film that it couldn't be any better than this. Watch all the other AIP, and Price flicks first, save this disappointment for a rainy day.

Availability:  On DVD

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