October Overlook Madness #31 – The Sorcerers (1967) & Final Roundup

It is the last day of October, it is Halloween. Happy Halloween everyone! Hope that you find yourself a costume, a party or have a great evening watching horror films or doing any other kind of spooky (yet safe) activities. Tell your kids, your family, that you love this time of year and, as always, try to take care of yourself. Don’t eat too much candy. Beware, the portals are open, the monsters and creatures walk among us, beware of those who don’t have a zipper in their costumes, beware. Oh, and I’ve decided that due to circumstances of the films to come in my list, I won’t be extending these 31 days of Horror for the weekend. Let’s round it all with the nice number of 31.

Today we finish on a streak of films that I’ve seen from the Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness, as once again I’ve dealt with many horror films at other times of the year, thus becoming an expert on the genre, while on the beginning I mostly depended on his advice and constant passion towards the genre. Here, let me use this part of the paragraph to make a tribute to James Rolfe, the man who managed to make a horror nut out of myself, the man who put myself in the position of seeing a cinema that I didn’t find interesting, one that I didn’t have the guts to see. He brought a historical presentation in his first Monster Madness and then continued with the streak that made him one of my favorite people online. Thanks James.

So, the movie presented by James today was actually one I saw before the first horror month feature I did at my blog in one of those spectacular dazes of glory that made me watch and brave these movies at the time. I’m talking about the much delayed release of ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ (2007), an anthology film directed by Michael Dougherty, who manages to put together four stories that aren’t only scary, but nasty at the same time and cruel towards the way in which they treat the protagonists, there are a couple of the stories that almost feel like an endurance test, specially because of the cruelty present in them. Right now, I think it’s one of my favorite horror films of the 2000’s, and maybe in the top 10 best anthology films ever made, alongside films like ‘Creepshow’ (1982). I rate it 9 out of 10.

So, that makes the choice of seeing a new (and final) movie some kind of disappointment, since we usually blast off into glory with a choice by Rolfe, but last year we also had some sort of lackluster ending, with a decent but otherwise forgettable TV documentary. Nevertheless, today we have a film starring Boris Karloff, made in the 60’s, a continuation of the horror films from the year 1967 that we have yet to see. Will it be the ultimate horror film that I have to see? Will its 60’s nature help it or demean it? We will find out just below. And remember! Below the final rating and review we will have the usual roundup of the month, with the 10 best films of October. Have a good read!

Well, this was a disappointment. I mean, Boris Karloff is one of those actors that you can’t help but love, his appearance is maybe the most important thing that this movie has, and yet he manages to mostly disappear midway through this movie. The film reeks of the 60’s, the decade that most people can and will like but gave us things like hippies and psychedelic music that wasn’t always good nor actually compelling in any way, and here it shows that the time period of this film is incredibly present in the plot of the film, featuring singers and dancers of the time. It almost seems like Karloff is trying hard to maintain his stay in the film landscape, he is already a legend at the time that this movie is made, and he tries his hardest to bring some dignity, but it seems as if he is just staying to have the presence of classic horror in a movie that ends up being about a guy killing women… kinda.

The thing is that Karloff is a sorcerer of sorts, some kind of expert in hypnotism, but through the means of science, as we know when he finally gets the chance to get a man in his office and puts him in a chair and subjects him to surreal and drug-addled imagery, just to come up with one result: the man can be controlled, but not only by Karloff’s character, but also his wife, who suddenly sees the pleasure in commanding someone else to kill, maim, rape and everything, just because the connection with the hypnotic powers is so great that they start to feel the same things that he feels whenever he’s under their control. The movie kinda stays there with its premise, it’s weak and just doesn’t do anything beyond what’s stated here, so suddenly and quickly enough the culprit is found and chased and the whole film turns into a ‘who cares’ ordeal. The presence of Karloff is what elevates this movie for the time in which he appears, and while these youngsters go around dancing and singing their catchy hippie tunes, he is there, with his medical equipment, making like a mad scientist, but one with a heart and a way to find an utility for his machine, but he fails, and we fail to understand.

What a sad way to end our countdown, with a mediocre film that could’ve been so much better, but hey, better luck next year, right?

6/10

And here it is, the list of the 10 best movies that I saw this October Overlook Madness, lots of great ones, sadly no masterpieces found this year (as the years continue, the finding of masterpieces is harder, as the great films, while not scarce, may have already been found a few years ago in other circumstances, something must really surprise me to make a dent on me):

1. They Live (1988)
2. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)
3. Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)
4. Seconds (1966)
5. Repulsion (1965)
6. Neco a Alenky (1988)
7. Dead Ringers (1988)
8. The Omen (1976)
9. Communion (1976)
10. The War of the Worlds (1953)

And the three worst films I saw:

1. The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994)
2. Gatto nero (1981)
3. The Sorcerors (1967)

See you next year guys!

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