Friday, 7 October 2016

The Sorcerers (1967)

"Intoxication with no hangover. Ecstasy with no consequence..."

I've been wanting to see this hard-to-find film ever since I first saw Michael Reeves' Witchfinder General. And it didn't disappoint. Thank you, Keith Richards and BBC4.

Boris Karloff, in a rare British film appearance towards the end of his life, is Professor Marcus Montserrat who, with his equally elderly and bitter wife Estelle, seeks to use his invention to take control of someone young and feel their experiences, vicariously but literally, in what looks awfully like a metaphor for hard drugs and how they can harm others and not just the user. Ian Ogilvy's bored Mike is an ignorant but willing victim, casually submitting to Montserrat's very psychedelic machine and all of its terrible consequences.

And terrible those consequences are; Mike suffers the destruction of his relationship, his friendships and his life in indulging the increasingly Grand Guignol-like excesses of Estelle, whose deliciously evil nature emerges from the facade of a nice old lady. The film is both enormous fun and very much of its time- the Sixties of Alfie rather than rock 'n' roll, of ordinary '60s youths who are not particularly cool and listen to, ahem, Cliff Richard. Highly recommended, if you can find the damn thing.

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