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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Cry Of The Banshee has a reputation amongst classic horror fans as being little more than a ripoff of The Witchfinder General. That judgement is rough but fair, as Cry Of The Banshee basically recycles Price's villainous witchfinder character from that film in a new setting with a few extra trappings (namely, a vengeful witch and the title creature) thrown in for added spice. As a horror film, its kind of silly: the characters are all overheated clich├ęs, the witch's ceremonies are more likely to inspire giggles than shivers and the Banshee is pretty unconvincing bit of monster makeup (it is wisely kept off-camera as much as possible). However, Cry Of The Banshee is quite entertaining as a sleazy campfest: Price has a blast hamming it up, the script delivers some bit of salaciousness or brutality every few minutes and Hessler directs the proceedings with more vigor than they probably deserve. John Coquillon's photography is quite lovely and Terry Gilliam's animated titles get things off to a suitably campy start. In short, Cry Of The Banshee might be trash but its agreeable, energetic trash. Fans of vintage b-movie sleaze could do lots worse.