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This review is from: Michael Reeves (British Film-Makers) (Paperback)
Halligan has really done his homework, talking to everyone and following every lead to produce a lively portrait of boy wonder filmmaker Michael Reeves, his times, and his work. (Full disclosure: Halligan tracked me down to ask about a 1969 article I'd written on Reeves.) Halligan's thesis, it turns out, is that had Reeves not died young, he might have been one of the greats. This is a reach (think arguing the same for Spielberg after 'Duel.') The achievement of the book is that, thanks to the detailed description of Reeves' vision, and the constraints out of which he crafted a sort of masterpiece 'Witchfinder General', the argument is a credible one. Along the way we get the full story of Vincent Price's work on 'Witchfinder,' and the sometimes hilarious gay sidelights (Price sitting in a ditch, commenting on an attractive young co-star). There is also important historical reportage of the sticky battle with the censors over Witchfinder's violence. As an examination of 60s London, the mind of a filmmaking genius, and the ins and outs of making low-budget genre movies, this is seriously fascinating stuff.