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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"The Conqueror Worm" (1968)

On the surface this looks like another one of those overought '60s Edgar Allen Poe pictures where Vincent Price hammed it up amongst the pits and the pendulums. But look again, it's a thoughtful meditation on pervasive corruption in religion and government. Here he's Matthew Hopkins--a character loosely base on fact-- a lawyer in 17th century England who's a self appointed 'witchhunter', going from village to village executing anyone being suspected of witchcraft or satanism. For the right price. Bleak and unflinching, there are some gruesome scenes of torture and violence so be prepared. But Price is the very picture of smug malevolence in the name of religion, (he considered it his best performance), a baddie with haunting echoes of current events...Ted Cruz ring a bell? So it's worth the time if you can stomach the horror. 

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