13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
one of Price's best performances,
This review is from: Witchfinder General [DVD] (DVD)
Vincent Price had a long body of work, but Witchfinder General is one of his most distinguished films. The film very horrific, but it is not really a horror film. It is haunting, stomach churning, and evocative because it is based on actual events, so it removes that safety net of make believe. In a straight forward historical film, set in the period of Cromwell, Price is the notorious Matthew Hopkins. A man sent to find witches under Cromwell's protection.
Ian Ogilvy plays a Marshal in Cromwell's army and he is in love with Sarah the ward of the local priest. Sarah warns him strange things are happening in the town. Cromwell, known for his anti-catholic sentiment, was ridding the area of Catholic priest by permitting them to be accused of Heresy. Little does he know as he rides off, pausing to give directions to two strange men, that he just directed Hopkins and his toadie to Sarah and her guardian...
The score sets a poignant tone, the acting is superb with Price in a very non-hammy performance. It is also notable for being directed by Michael Reeve (Ogilvy's friend and they made Revenge of the Blood Beast and And Now the Screaming Starts together). Reeve showed the promise of being a brilliant director, but he died after the completion of his third film.
The film is disturbing, unsettling, but a great & neglected work.