Article 2292 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-4-2007
Posting Date: 11-21-2007
Directed by Freddie Francis
Featuring Joan Crawford, Michael Gough, Bernard Kay
An anthropologist discovers a troglodyte hidden in a cave. She wants to experiment with it, but suspicious villagers fear it and want it destroyed, especially as it has already killed one student.
This movie’s reputation is such that one would believe that, in watching this movie, one is going to see the worst, campiest movie ever made. Well, I’ve seen worse and I’ve seen campier; BERSERK is certainly a lot campier, even if it is overall a somewhat better movie. This one is merely a tired compendium of cliches, with a particularly wretched script; I suspect it would just be discarded as a bad movie and forgotten if Joan Crawford hadn’t been in it. From my point of view, Crawford wisely underplays what she must have known was an awful part; there was very little she could do with the role to begin with. I think she comes off better than Michael Gough; though Gough is an excellent actor, I’ve never cared much for his performances when he took on bad-tempered acid-tongued sadists, and he’s in that mode all the time here, and it renders his character so that it comes across as even more one-dimensional than it was already written. The rest of it is monster-on-the-loose by-the-numbers, the sort of thing that yesterday’s movie (SCHLOCK ) was sending up. This is probably the least interesting of Herman Cohen’s forays into horror.