World of Horror (1968)

WORLD OF HORROR (1968)
aka Swiat Grozy
Article 3780 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-8-2011
Posting Date: 12-20-2011
Directed by Witold Leseiwicz, Czeslaw Petelski, Ewa Petelska
Country: Poland
What it is: Anthology

Three tales from the world of horror are told. They are “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime”, “A Terribly Strange Bed”, and “The Canterville Ghost”.

Adventures in Moviehunting: When this movie first entered my list via the John Stanley book, there was no accompanying entry on IMDB, usually a sign that the likelihood of me ever seeing it is slight. However, I periodically go through my hunt lists and double check movies like this to see if any new information has been added. When I encountered this title during one of those checks, I decided to check the title against CITWF, which often has entries for films not listed on IMDB. Sure enough, I found it listed, with the alternate Polish title of SWIAT GROZY. Though I still couldn’t find this title on IMDB, I made a check of one of the directors’ names, and I noticed that there was TV short entitled DUCH Z CANTERVILLE from the same year. Knowing I was on too something, I did manage to locate all three shorts on IMDB. A check on one of my sources quickly revealed that all three were available, and so here I am with my review.

Technically, I’m bending the rules a little not watching the version that was edited together, but it’s not the first time I’ve done it, and research reveals that probably no more was done than to change the credits sequences. Furthermore, I was fortunate that two of the shorts did come with English subtitles; only LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME left me high and dry, as I don’t remember having read the original story (or the original stories for the other two either). Still, even with that problem, all three were very entertaining; I’ve long held that even if you don’t understand the language, you can sometimes recognize good acting and superior production, and this one has both. I suspect the first story has to do with the murder of an old lady and its potential for discovery by a palm reader. I’m not going to say much about A TERRIBLY STRANGE BED other than that if it’s true to the original story, William Castle was probably familiar with it. As for the final story, it was in many ways very different from the Charles Laughton movie version, and I suspect this one is probably closer to the original source; it just feels more like the work of Oscar Wilde. This one is very amusing, as it deals with an ancient ghost’s frustrations at trying to scare off some stubborn Americans who not only don’t believe in him, but aren’t scared of him when they encounter him. All in all, this one was quite enjoyable.

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