Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Shuttered Room/It|
Actors: Oliver Reed, Gig Young, Roddy McDowall, Jill Haworth, Paul Maxwell
Directors: David Greene, Herbert J. Leder
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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The Shuttered Room
David Hitchcock | Boston | 12/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite Saturday afternoon horror movies from when I was a kid. "The Shuttered Room" is a great piece of 60's gothic horror, complete with a family curse, an old millhouse, and even some bad Karate fights. Oliver Reed stands out as the crazed juvenile who lusts after Carol Lynley. He has an inner rage that can only be tamed by spooky Aunt Agatha played with great passion by Flora Roberts (The Innocents). One thing that I didn't remember was the great jazzy score by Basil Kirchin. Maybe now that this film has been released on DVD, he will get the recognition he deserves as this is one of the best film scores I've heard.
Only disappointment is the lack of extras on the DVD. Maybe WB will release an updated version of this in the near future.
A moody little horror film from the sixties
Bobby K | Tampa, FL United States | 12/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those classic British horrors from my childhood that used to scare the pants off me. And now it's finally here on DVD. The story revolves around Susannah (Carol Lynley), who lived as a child on an isolated New England island with her parents in a grain mill. Something else lived there too, in a locked room... something angry and vicious. When Susannah's parents die, she is sent to be raised in New York. Once she is 21, she and her new and much older husband (Gig Young) revisit the island to reclaim the old mill. On the island they encounter a mysterious, superstitious Aunt, a gang of threatening thugs and a murderous "something" still living in the old mill.
This DVD has an ok picture quality, but there is some dirt in the print and the colors seem kind of dull. It doesn't look like Warner took the time to clean up the print. I have to say I was pretty nervous when the 7 Arts logo came up and it looked like the image was taken from a jumpy film projector, but that soon passes once the film starts. The film does have the original prolog before the titles with the "You left the door unlocked again!" scene, which many rebroadcasts of the film seem to cut.
There are no extras on the DVD (which also features the Roddy McDowell film "It!" about a stone golem on the rampage) You get the ability to see subtitles but there are no chapter selection stops and no commentaries. Nor do you get any trailers. Very bare bones, but it's a welcome addition for anyone wanting to revisit this moody film."
Reed and McDowall: Suitable Cases For Treatment
Paul Ess. | Holywell, N.Wales,UK. | 04/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's worrying to think that there must be some mad, straddling genius, squirreling deep in the vaults of WB, who has the sheer premeditated temerity to put these two extraordinary films together on one disc....
'The Shuttered Room' is a nasty thriller exploiting psychiatric disorder. If you have loony murderous relatives, don't bother with doctors - chain 'em up in a disused mill and get Oliver Reed (fresh from his role as a Muslim tyrant in 'Brigand of Kandahar !) to be the care-taker! When an unexpected sibling and her husband (Carol Lynley and Gig Young) turn up and - surprise, surprise - much unpleasantness sets in motion, sit in a draughty tower and watch Reed roaring in a field.
Dame Flora Robson plays the aunt of the mother-of-all dysfunctional families, and how she got roped in to this insanity is any-ones guess. And as for Reed...you've never seen a performance like it in your life. He plays the same kind of thug he did in Joseph Losey's 'These Are The Damned' only with a laughingly hokey American accent: "I like the taste of your wife's ears.." he drawls at Young, "what d'you think about that, huh?"
Young thinks he should knock him off a pier into the sea and does just that.
'The Shuttered Room' is a bad day-dream and not quite the sum of its parts (it has a superb score by jazz legend Basil Kirchin and is based on a Lovecraft short), but it's engaging in a brute-force way, savage, and never, ever boring.
'It' is a stranger film again. Roddy McDowall plays Pimm; a lowly museum curator consistently passed for promotion, and shunned romantically by delicious Jill Howarth; but who discovers that a Golem statue the museum has just taken delivery of is actually alive, and takes control of it.
Howarth has formed a relationship with smug American (is there any other kind !?) Paul Maxwell, and mad as a wart-hog McDowall uses the Golem to kidnap her; steal his long-dead mothers corpse (and a hearse!) from a funeral parlour and head off to a country cemetery - Sexton: Miss Swanson (!!).
On realising the Golem is impervious to bullets and bazooka shells, the resourceful but completely hat-stand British Army decide to nuke it! Maxwell is then involved in some no-thrills-at-all motorcycle action to save juicy Jill, but what of McDowall and the Golem..
Now, I've seen some bonkers movies in my time, and 'It' is right up there with the best of 'em. McDowall is loco, camp and megalomaniacal all at the same time. The Golem is about as scary as sild, and the whole bizarre concoction is brewed with no cinematic nous or dramatic charge whatsoever.
You may be wondering then, how this disc gets the 5 hallowed big ones. Well, Ollie Reed's bull-like performance, intensified by his continual racing about bellowing, is a treat in itself. As is the barking spectacle of the Royal Artillery nuking Roddy McDowall, so as some-one with an unrepentant and insatiable thirst for schlock, I'm left with little option:
You won't see a more satisfying couple of complete cults anywhere individually - but together...
The guy in the dusty WB dungeon who paired these two is evidently a
'special' person, and either needs immediate promotion to the upper echelons, or fitted for a straight-jacket!"
Eccentric Double Bill Makes For Fascinating Viewing.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 12/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As I continue working my way through several old style horror films of the 1950s and 60s, I just have to weigh in on this double feature which I found to be among the best of the many retro horror twofers that are out there on the market. I somehow managed to miss both of these on their initial releases and never saw them on TV so they were brand new to me. Most of the previous reviews focus on THE SHUTTERED ROOM which got far more exposure and certainly boasts the stronger cast as well as the H.P. Lovecraft name (even though August Derleth wrote most of it). Very little Lovecraft/Derleth is left and what you essentially have is a tense little thriller that seems like a dry run for STRAW DOGS (1971) without all the ultra-violence. The real stars of the movie are not the performers (although Oliver Reed and Flora Robson know what to do with the material) but rather Ken Hodges striking cinematography and Basil Kirchin's modern jazz score which combine to make the picture a tense viewing experience until the ending which is singularly disappointing. The Norfolk (U.K.) locations, especially the abandoned lighthouse and old mill, are also very effective.
While THE SHUTTERED ROOM is clearly the better movie, I enjoyed IT a lot more because, as one U.K. website said, the film is absolutely "barking mad". What starts off as a deliberate PSYCHO ripoff evolves into a kooky film experience with Roddy MacDowell playing the script for all the dark humor he can get out of it. His Arthur Pimm is such a polite madman that he becomes a parody of every proper upright Englishman. He is actually fun to watch even more so after he really starts to lose it. Grafting PSYCHO onto THE GOLEM story deserves credit for chutzpah if nothing else. As for the statue itself, the real Golem was made out of clay not stone, was far from indestructible, and didn't resemble a petrified tree with a conehead. Details. IT was originally made back to back with a creepy Dana Andrews vehicle about resurrecting Nazis called THE FROZEN DEAD which was made for an outfit called Gold Star Productions. It has yet to make it to DVD. Both were written and directed by Herbert J. Leder and would have made an ideal double feature. THE SHUTTERED ROOM could have been coupled with another WB/Seven Arts feature THE ANNIVERSARY with Bette Davis or just released on its own."