(5 out of 5 stars)
"A British hunter (Bryant Haliday) is on an African safari, when a less skilled hunting mate wounds a lion which then runs into the territory of a tribe that worships lions as a god. The hunter (Haliday) and his local African partner reluctantly chase down and kill the wounded lion.The tribe puts a curse on him which follows him back to London, causing deteriorating health and hallucinations. He sees tribesmen - some in Western attire, some in loin cloths with spears - lurking around him in London. He can't convince anyone other than his estranged wife that it isn't due to insanity or his excesssive drinking. His African partner is held captive by the tribe and tormented.Eventually, when his wife learns that the only way to break the curse is to return to Africa and kill the one who put it on him, he goes back to try to break the curse and rescue his partner.Haliday puts in a strong performance as the anti-hero hunter, and the dark, psychological story has a lot of bite. Some viewers (and reviewers) are obviously put off by what they consider negative depictions of Arficans. Hollywood's current code of political correctness would never allow some of a film's African characters to be shown as superstitious, primitive, or the "bad guys," as this picture does. To the contrary, I felt the picture reflected its creator's honest and informed assement of Africa, and the disregard for political correctness was not only refreshing, but a display of candor and open mindedness when compared to today's films."
Excellent. Classic British Horror
musicmars | New York, NY United States | 11/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very well made film. Beautiful black & white photography, good story, and finely acted. I really don't understand how someone could not like this film, unless they've been raised on the action-filled, special-effects laden schlock that comes out of Hollywood these days. I found nothing objectionable in the depiction of the natives, I found it no different from the depictions of other primitive cultures in films of the era. In short, as good or better than most of the Hammer films."
Phasedin | New Jersey | 03/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got the chance to purchase this movie at a very reasonable price several years ago. I knew little of the film, except that it was an old black and white British thriller from 1964, I had never seen it. This one just didn't show up on the Saturday night "Creature Features" that I loved as a kid growing up in the late 60's and early 70's.
Now I was expecting a short semi-cheesy exploitation Horror film, perhaps similar to "The Woman Eater", a British black and white quickie about a living tree discovered by a mad scientist on an expedition who brings it back home to his labratory where he "feeds" it female victims.
I was way wrong in my expectations, and I wasn't aware at first that this was the same director (Lindsay Shonteff) who brought us the very eerie "Devil Doll" film.
So at first I was very dissapointed that this wasn't really a Horror movie at all. I watched it and then put it back on the shelf for a couple of years.
Something made me pull it down and watch it again. THEN I "got" it. This isn't supposed to be a Horror movie at all, despite the title. The closest thing i can compare this to is perhaps an extended episode of the original "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or the "Alfred Hitchcock Hour" tv shows.
Now I love those shows. And if someone had prepared me that this film was like that I would have gone into it with proper expectations set. And i'm sure I would have enjoyed it the first time around.
One can watch this wondering if the things that our protagonist thinks he's seeing and hearing are really a result of the curse placed on him in Africa or perhaps the hallicinations of a fevered, sickly mind, since he is also ill after his African travels. At least that's how I percieved at least the middle section of this movie, and I like films that can work on more than one level.
Like I said, if only someone had prepared me for the type of film this was, chances are I would have gone into it with proper expectations and would have dug it the very first time.
If however, you are looking for something more in the Horror genre, from this same time period, this director's "Devil Doll" is much more of a true Horror film (also featuring Bryant Haliday the same main actor featured here). That film has some incredibly eerie moments that, at times, come near to an almost "Carnival Of Souls" vibe. So if this isn't your cup of tea you may still want to check that one out.
I'll give this one a solid 3 1/2 stars, but considering that the early reviewers of this film had different expectations and gave it such low ratings as a result, i'll raise it 4 stars."