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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witchfinder General, 2011 Odeon Remasterd special edition - Vincent Price's most chilling performance
An avid watcher of Vincent Price films, I am a great fan of the style of camp gothic horror he perfected along with Roger Corman. I was totally unprepared for what I saw in this film.

Price plays Matthew Hopkins, a figure who looms large in the British folk memory. The Witchfinder General, a man of infinite infamy. Hopkins was a lawyer from East Anglia, who...
Published on 27 April 2012 by Victor

versus
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware
The DVD, although having resonable picture quality, has been cut to fit with a 15 certifcate. At least with the previous version, it had the full uncut film, however poorly inserted they were. Therefore if like me, your studying this film, or maybe just want to see what all the fuss about the violence was, DO NOT BUY
Published on 21 May 2007 by tylordurdenthecoolest


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror of a different kind, 5 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Witchfinder General [DVD] (DVD)
Michael Reeves conjures up a cynical,bleak classic from historical fact in 17th century England.
"Witchfinder General" tells the tale of sadistic oppurtunist Matthew Hopkins who roams Suffolk persecuting innocents as witches for financial gain, the moral viewpoint on this is not reflected on as he weaves his evil path.
The plot involves a Roundhead soldier seeking revenge after he finds his lover has been abused by Hopkins and his ruthless sidekick John Stearne.
Brilliant,brooding cinematography and the bleak,eerie story make this a unique classic of the horror genre much like the more subtle "Wicker Man".
Reeves makes his point on the disturbing glorification of violence in cinema by making some of the scenes truly shocking but not by overdoing it...mainly by showing how cynical the villains truly are.
This Special Edition comes with a short documentary,some gimmicks and two versions of the film(one is less explicit).Beware,though, that the extra scenes added are of rather poor quality.
Overall, a great well priced package, although I really dont know what the pointless heavy metal video is doing amongst the extras!!!.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witchfinder General, 24 Oct 2011
An excellent film but what really makes the blu-ray is the extras. A retrospective on the director, Michael Reeves, and a documentary on witches in Essex, Anglia and Norfolk are a highlight. The Michael Aspel interview with Vincent Price is also a gem. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic old horror still chills the blood, 8 Sep 2008
This is a story of persecution and revenge filled with Vincent Price's manic leering, which has never been better. This is great entertainment, dark brutal fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultra realistic horror history, 20 July 2007
This review is from: Witchfinder General [DVD] (DVD)
A clear breakaway from the formula horror films that filled the 1960s, from Hammer, Amicus and Roger Corman. This Tigon production relied on a young maverick director delivering us on a new path to damnable happenings. In this artily directed film he gives us a horror that was historically real. The lovely introductory spoken narrative explaining the dire state of England being torn apart by civil war sets the serious tone for the rest of this film, the sort of tone that had been missing from all the big studio horror films mentioned above. This is not fantasy horror, we are being reminded, but real horror fashioned out of religious paranoia. So when we eventually get to meet the villain of the piece, the stern puritan lawyer Matthew Hopkins, who we find is manipulating this paranoia and anti Catholic sentiment for his own perverted power lust and financial gain, we are not in any way surprised to see his portrayer, Vincent Price playing it very straight. Price knows exactly what he is being asked to portray: pure, twisted, opportunistic, bigotted, sanctimonious humanity-real horror for a change, not fantasy horror where he keeps his tongue firmly in his cheek. For this alone, it is a remarkable film, and a lot of the credit has to go to Reeves. Because the monster of this piece is human, the viewer's sympathy is with the hero of the film (played very well by Ian Olgivy) far more, I think, than it is in say, a Dracula or werewolf film. Because of this realness it is a very memorable film, and it's no wonder it has acquired cult film status. The photography is delicious, taking us on a panoramic tour through a lush and rural East Anglia, mostly on horseback. Something different, this, for horror film fans, and in my own humble reckoning, one of the very best of all time. The makers of The Village (nowhere near as good, or frightening) were clearly influenced by this minor classic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seething with pain and suffering, 26 April 2000
By A Customer
One of the few horror films to be genuinely horrifying, Reeves' film is an overwealmingly dark examination of human suffering, religious hypocracy and political turmoil. Only comparable to The Texas Chainsaw massacre for the sense of doom which hangs over every scene and seeps into the very soul of the veiwer. However, whereas Tobe Hooper's suspense and terror masterpiece is shot through with the blackest of humour, Witchfinder General is a straight, disturbing shot to the very heart of human existence. There are no shock moments, no suspense sequenses or other tricks of the horror trade, there are simply scenes of grimy, painful death and torture which, while often veering towards the scholcky, shake the veiwer to the very core. Filmed almost entirely in the fading light of the evening, the English landscape has never looked so bleak and foreboding, a silent witness to the violent insanity spreading over it and through its inhabitants. Witchfinder General is nothing short of a masterpiece which shows up the majority of the rest of the films in the horror genre to be jaunty shockers. When Scream's jumps and jolts have long faded from the memory, Witchfinder General will have left a dark, unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach, keeping your mind alive to what true horror is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb horror classic, 23 Dec 2012
This review is from: Witchfinder General Digitally Remastered Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this film on late night TV a long time ago. I then managed to get it on video a few years later and I loved it all over again. I now have it on DVD and it is better than ever. The picture quality is almost perfect and it is easy to forget that it is an old film. You also may be interested to know that this new version is also the Director's Cut version, so it includes all of the violence that was cut for cinema and video releases, though it is still missing the nudity that was featured in the Export Cut version. It is an extremely downbeat and grim film and lacking any obvious humour. Anyone who watches it and expects the usual Vincent Price camp-comedy performance from him will be very shocked and disappointed. It is not an easy film to watch, it is quite graphic and will probably not be for everyone. Still, I regard it as a horror classic, in the true sense of the term and it is a superb film, with excellent acting from everyone in it. I give it the full five stars. Excellent!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware, 21 May 2007
The DVD, although having resonable picture quality, has been cut to fit with a 15 certifcate. At least with the previous version, it had the full uncut film, however poorly inserted they were. Therefore if like me, your studying this film, or maybe just want to see what all the fuss about the violence was, DO NOT BUY
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping portrayal of a grim period., 14 Oct 2001
By 
John Standish (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Witchfinder General [DVD] (DVD)
Though historically inaccurate (Matthew Hopkins died when he was subjected to his own 'tests'), 'Witchfinder General' gives some idea of what it must have felt like to be a victim of the witch hysteria between 1500 and 1650. Shot at Lavenham, Suffolk, in the area where many of Hopkins' activities took place, the film recreates both the claustrophobia of East Anglia and the distorted worldview which made witch trials, hangings and burnings possible. The madness of Salem, Massachusetts, is well known and well documented; too little attention has been paid to England's own atrocities. With a stunning performance by Vincent Price, who oozes evil at every turn, this film, despite its' historical shortcomings, deserves more attention and showing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bad scenes are now restored.Recommended!, 24 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For all the fans of this great classic:The Blu Ray is definitely better compared to the Dvd!

-The ''Bad'' scenes on the dvd look like the poorest video quality.Here the scenes are original without loss.To me the most important upgrade this film could make.

-The night scenes look a lot better,remastered indeed.A tiny scratch here and there but not disturbing anymore.

-The colours look more vivid and there is more contrast.

-Sound is DTS decoded but still 2.0 stereo.Sound is Ok,nothing more.

Conclusion(as do other buyers):Great Blu Ray,this is the ultimate edition indeed,buy with confidence!

A tiny film company can still release great quality discs.Keep the faith!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic improved, 6 July 2012
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The picture quality on the blu-ray is a vast step up on previous DVD versions. Stronger detail and colour overall. The day for night/dusk scene seems, in my opinion, to have been printed down slightly and is now more effectively rendered. Audio quality is fine. The best way yet to watch this classic of English cinema.
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