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Veteran Vincent Price is wonderfully cast as the titular witchfinder, Matthew Hopkins, whose bloody and usually sexually motivated persecutions across civil war-torn East Anglia are carried out with much relish, graphic fake blood and lots of screaming. Ian Ogilvy, an old school pal of the director's, is the upright new model soldier who swears vengeance against Hopkins for the rape of his betrothed (Hilary Dwyer, who in true Hammer Horror fashion gets to take her top off and scream a lot). Lascivious depictions of burning witches and gratuitous sex aside, what draws the viewer into the film is the setting as Reeves' camera roams lovingly across the East Anglian countryside. The opening-hanging scene, for example, depends strongly on location for its effect, and Ogilvy's quest for revenge takes on a John Ford-style Western aura in the director's hands. Perhaps not quite the masterpiece some seem to think it is, Witchfinder General remains a sturdy piece of distinctively British filmmaking.
On the DVD: This disc allows the viewer to select the slightly extended "Export cut" of the movie, which has a little more graphic blood than the censored UK release, although the restored sequences are of markedly inferior quality. The anamorphic picture and mono sound are decent, even if too many murky nighttime scenes and badly dubbed actors' voices betray the film's restrictively low budget. The major extra is a documentary about the life and short career of Michael Reeves, while other fill-ups include text notes from critic Kim Newman, a music video, trailer, filmographies and stills. All in all, it's a welcome restoration of a genre classic. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bought this as a gift for my fiance who LOVES Vincent Price and has always wanted this movie. I posted it overseas and he has only just watched it and as much as he loved the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Vanessagirl
The story is a heavily fictionalised portrayal of the murderous witch-hunting exploits of Matthew Hopkins, who claimed to have been appointed as a "Witch Finder General" by... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Throda tzen
I was disappointed by this, as I remembered it from many years back as something better when I saw it on the big screen.Published 5 months ago by SEFM
Oh such a nasty man! Historically interesting as these things actually did happen.Published 6 months ago by M. V. Bridge
Although not one of the best of Vincent Price films, I like the Witchfinder General in the end. Set in the time of Oliver Cromwell, he plays the ruthless Witchfinder General having... Read morePublished 7 months ago by David
Not really a horror,is worth watching .Vincent price at his bestPublished 7 months ago by the reader