The Sorcerers (1967)

THE SORCERERS (1967)
Article 2212 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-6-2007
Posting Date: 9-2-2007
Directed by Michael Reeves
Featuring Boris Karloff, Catherine Lacey, Ian Ogilvy

A hypnotist and his wife develop a method whereby they can control a young man’s actions from a distance. As a side effect, they discover that they can also feel his every sensation as if it were their own. The wife then becomes seduced by the idea that she can make the man commit criminal activities that she can vicariously enjoy.

With this movie I now complete the oeuvre of director Michael Reeves. Though it is the final one I’ve covered for this series, it is actually the first one I ever saw when it popped up many years ago on my local Creature Feature, and even though I believe WITCHFINDER GENERAL is the better movie, this is perhaps my favorite of his. At least part of the reason is the presence of Boris Karloff, who does a fine job here as the hypnotist who finds himself in a battle of wills with his wife. But the rest of the cast also does a fine job, especially Catherine Lacey as the wife, whose newfound power brings out her previously hidden sadistic side. I also found the premise unusual and interesting. The movie makes impressive use of editing and sound; some of the scenes in which we switch back and forth between Ian Ogilvy’s possessed young man and the controlling couple are marvelously done, and the way Michael Reeves uses silence to underscore much of the action (it is one of the quietest horror films I’ve ever seen) is noteworthy. As a side note, I can’t help but notice that in each of his four movies as a director (counting CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD, where he was uncredited) he managed to work with a separate horror star in each; Christopher Lee, Barbara Steele, Boris Karloff, and Vincent Price.

 

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