(director: William Cameron Menzies; screenwriters: based on the novel The Maze by Maurice Sandoz/Dan Ullman; cinematographer: Harry Neumann; editor: John Fuller; music: Marlin Skiles; cast: Richard Carlson (Gerald MacTeam), Veronica Hurst (Kitty Murray), Katherine Emery(Edith Murray), Michael Pate (William), John Dodsworth (Dr. Bert Dilling), Hillary Brooke (Peggy Lord); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Richard V. Heermance; Allied Artists Pictures; 1953)
“A moronic but entertaining horror/sci fi film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
It’s filmed in monochrome 3-D (I saw it without 3-D). It’s a moronic but entertaining horror/sci fi film, whereby the actors take things seriously. The heir to a title and an isolated Scottish castle, also inherits the family curse. William Cameron Menzies(“Invaders From Mars”/”The Whip Hand”/”The Thief of Bagdad”), in his final feature film, directs with gimmicky shots and an eye to the visuals that makes use of his great gift for creating set designs. It’s based on the novel by Maurice Sandoz and is written by Dan Ullman.
Scotsman Richard Carlson is set to marry Veronica Hurst, but is called back to his Scottish ancestral home when his uncle dies and breaks off the engagement and never returns. The worried would-be bride goes with her aunt chaperone, Katherine Emery, to get answers and finds him in his Scottish castle grey like an old man and unable to talk to them about his dark experience. They also find on the grounds a hideous man-frog. It is revealed that is Carlson’s 200-year-old ancestor. When the ancestor dies, Carlson’s freed from the family curse and marries his lady.
The story couldn’t be more ridiculous, but it’s great to look at such hokum. The film is narrated by Katherine Emery. It’s known for its weird 3-D shot in the frightening climactic scene.
REVIEWED ON 9/6/2015 GRADE: B