Cry of the Banshee (1970)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror, Costume Horror  |   Release Date - Jul 29, 1970 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - UK  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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The inimitable Vincent Price puts an interesting spin on this otherwise pedestrian witch-hunt exercise -- a rehashing of Witchfinder General (aka The Conqueror Worm) and several of Roger Corman's numerous Poe variations from the previous decade. Here Price plays Edward Whitman, a corrupt, sadistic magistrate in 16th-century Ireland who puts a quick and deadly stop to the activities of a local Druidic coven... but not before the sect's leader Oona (Elisabeth Bergner) puts a curse on him and the Whitman family line, calling up a vengeful spirit known as a "sidhee" which takes flesh in the form of an otherwise mild-mannered stable boy (Patrick Mower). As swift and violent retribution works its way through the Whitman family, so does this film snowball toward its bizarre and muddled conclusion -- made all the more confounding by rather choppy editing. Just like Conqueror Worm and half a dozen others, this was fallaciously marketed by distributor American International Pictures as yet another adaptation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe -- as if AIP hadn't kicked Poe's corpse around enough in the '60s.

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Keywords

witchhunt [persecution], magistrate, massacre, murder, persecution, witchcraft, coven, curse, execution, family, revenge, supernatural-forces, werewolf, witch, heretic