MR. SARDONICUS (1962)
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Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe, Oskar Homolka, Vladimir Sokoloff, Erika Peters, Edith Atwater, William Castle, Lorna Hanson, Constance Cavendish, Albert D'Arno, James Forrest, David Janti, Annalena Lund, Mavis Neal Palmer, Charles H. Radilak, Franz Roehn, Tina Woodward, Ilse Burkert
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Sardonicus' Libido & His Disgusting Eating Habits
Favorite Movie Quote: "No! Not the leeches again!"
In this sweet'n'sour (and very sinister) little horror movie about leech-facials, guilt-ridden ghouls and leering-lockjaw to the extreme, I'd say that it was actor Oscar Homolka, as Krull, the baron's viciously cruel servant with the cob-webbed eye, who put in the most complex and memorable performance of all.
Set in the year 1880, almost all of this horror film's evil action takes place at Baron Sardonicus' dark & gloomy (and mirror-less) castle that was located just outside the town of Gorslava (which, by the looks of it, was probably situated in, or around, the region of good, old Transylvania).
And you can be sure that what regularly went on behind closed and locked doors in this creepy, fog-enshrouded environment of the baron's made just having a mere skeleton in one's closet seem quite tame by comparison.
For the most part (as far as B-Horror movies go) Mr. Sardonicus (shouldn't this film have been titled "Baron" not "Mr." Sardonicus?) actually held up quite well and turned out to be a fairly effective little tale of woe, rotten corpses and severe facial afflictions.
But, unfortunately, at the last 5 minutes of the story writer/director William Castle made an unexpected (and very unwelcome) appearance on screen in order to gleefully promote his worthless "Punishment Poll".
This "audience participation" silliness of Castle's nearly sabotaged the entire picture by successfully ruining the whole period atmosphere of the story.
To me, Castle may have been something of a notable B-Movie director, but, when it came to his "gimmicks" and being a comedian wannabe, he was Z-Grade, all the way.
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Apr 2, 2014 7:24 PM
|Castle was a showman (and an attention wh*re), and his audience expected the schlock he provided. The equivalent would be Larry the Cable Guy getting on stage and not shouting at one time or another, "Git 'er dun!"|
Reading about this movie, there WAS no second ending. Castle made it so the character would be punished, regardless. His audience knew this, but they didn't care - it was Castle!
His most gimmicky film was his last, SHANKS, where Marcel Marceau (yes, THAT Marcel Marceau) played a puppeteer who brought his obviously underage girlfriend back to life via an electronic device. Don't even ask about the bikers!!!
Good reading your review, though I don't agree with it.
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