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Cauldron Of Blood / Colonel March Of Scotland Yard [1957] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Jean-Pierre Aumont, Boris Karloff, Viveca Lindfors, Rosenda Monteros, Milo Quesada
  • Directors: Santos Alcocer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Cornerstone Media
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Sep 2001
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NGVO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,032 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A blind sculptor (Boris Karloff) builds his works of art on skeletons, provided by his wife Tania (Viveca Lindfors). He is not aware that Tania and her lover are in fact committing murder to obtain the skeletons - burning the flesh off their victims in an acid bath. A journalist (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and his girlfriend investigate when their friend Helga falls prey to the fiendish couple. Also included is an episode of the Boris Karloff television series 'Colonel March of Scotland Yard'. In 'The Silver Curtain' Colonel March (Karloff) travels to Deuville, France on the trail of a Gallic thief.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb 2006
Format: DVD
I've seen several conflicting accounts of the plot for this film. As I see it it's a straightforward "wife plus lover plot to kill wealthy ageing husband to get his money" vehicle but not until he's completed his current commissioned work. Around this are woven the horror elements including the use of real skeletons as armatures for Karloff's sculptures (presumably necessary to help him continue to working since becoming blinded as the result of an earlier failed murder attempt?).
It's a typical 60's cheesy euro technicolour horror feature but is visually very attractive and has an interesting score and a nice opening title sequence making it better than many films of this genre. The print quality is very good plus there's a bonus Karloff serial episode.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Ratcheson on 16 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Must own for Karloff fans due to the Colonel March episode. I'd buy an official box set of the series instantly if it was available.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
AN ODDITY FROM KARLOFF'S BIZARRE AND FINAL SIX PACK 25 Feb 2012
By THE BLUEMAHLER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
* This is the fourth installment in the series "Karloff's Bizarre and Final Six Pack."

Alcocer's Cauldron of Blood (1970) (AKA Blind Man's Bluff) was filmed in 1967, but languished on the shelf until its release three years later (to little fanfare, despite its potential marketing as one of horror icon Boris Karloff`s last films). Where Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968) was a low-rent knock off of Black Sunday (1960), Cauldron is an equally low-rent rip of Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) and House of Wax (1953).

Karloff co-stars with veteran Viveca Lindfors (who is possibly best know as the queen who aroused Errol Flynn in 1948's The Adventures of Don Juan). Cauldron was shot almost entirely in Spain, and is remembered only as an accidental idiosyncrasy from late in Karloff's career.

Cauldron of Blood is not a good film, but it is a queer film, quite unlike anything else in the Karloff cannon, which may be explained by the fact that Karloff was not even the preferred choice for the role of the blind sculptor Badulescu. Producer Robert D. Weinbach had wanted Claude Rains, but Karloff was brought into the project after Rains was found to be terminally ill (Rains died during the pre-production stage of the film). Karloff is not even top-billed, which was an extreme and curious rarity.

The opening title sequence is a stylish hoot. A blonde bathing beauty is transformed into an animated skeleton, which then breaks up, forming the title (as in 1948's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein). This is followed by the bizarre jazz score of Ray Ellis (a sax player and prolific television composer) and psychedelic graphics, which lead into a beachside murder. The killer, wearing overcoat and gloves, erotically stalks his prey, making Cauldron of Blood a clear example of the giallo pulp genre films so influential during the period.

French sex symbol Jean-Pierre Aumont, as Claude, is in Spain to do a photo shoot of the famous blind sculptor Badulescu (Karloff, doing most of his scenes under a blanket, stuck in a wheelchair, wearing opaque goggles). Badulescu is cared for by his wife, Tania (Lindfors). Badulescu's sculptures utilize the skeletons of animals as armatures, or so he believes. Actually, Tania and one of her male lovers are supplying the skeletons of young girls, which comes as no surprise at all to the viewer. Karloff makes the most of his brief screen time, judiciously delivering his sarcastic dialogue to his sadistic wife: "`Till death do us part, I suppose." Lindfors, as the crazed, bisexual S & M murderess, puts her ham meter into overdrive, stealing everything but the kitchen sink.

Spliced into this rehash of the wax museum plots are swinging party vignettes, unconvincing red herrings, and pop culture references galore. It's much more subdued, and consequently duller, than it sounds. However, an out-of-synch diversion comes in the way of a surreal nightmare vignette with Lindfors haunted by psychedelic images of her hubby transformed into a shrunken head (replete with equally psychedelic scoring). Tania undergoes a transformation herself, as a whip-cracking femme Nazi leering after and stalking female victims. Among Tania's obsessions is Claude's gal pal Elga (Euro sex kitten Dyanik Zurakowska), and her stalking concludes with a near fatal encounter with a vat of acid (Lindfors and Zurakowska standing in for Lionel Atwill/Fay Wray.)

A masked ball (don't ask) leads to exposure and a 60s fight scene straight out of Adam West's "Batman" (only lacking a KA-POW!) The inevitable full-moon showdown between Boris and Viveca is anti-climatic.

Despite an overly familiar plot and noticeably low budget, Cauldron of Blood nearly shows potential through sheer style alone, and as a period curio with weird performances by Lindfors and Karloff. Inevitably, it's too much of a mess to hit the mark, but it gets some credit for an honest attempt to create its own flavor. It is certainly preferable to some of the recent big budget, assembly-line Hollywood garbage (e.g. Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance).

Cauldron Of Blood is out of print and has never been released on DVD in Region 1. It is available on a Region 0 DVD if you have a PAL or multisystem DVD player.

*my review was originally published at 366 weird movies
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination 1 Dec 2006
By DodgyUSA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Not much to add except a point of trivia. Boris took over this film from the original actor Claude Rains. Claude passed away and Boris took over the reins...so to speak.

If you think this is bad, trying watching the last four "quickies" he did which were released posthumously.
Viveca Lindfors makes this worth watching -- BUT... 14 Oct 2013
By Notary Sojac - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
...not for $796!! I'm holding on to my VHS tape until a sensibly priced DVD comes along -- one that, one hopes, will be complete and of decent quality, and not a bootleg.
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