This has all the elements of a great film, and one which I cannot believe I’ve never seen before. But this is what the 365 project is all about, digging out the classics. Ogilvy and Karloff directed by Michael Reeves. Gotta be great.
It’s a crazy plot. An old couple (Boris Karloff & Catherine Lacey) have a magic electric chair type thing which lifts the emotions from the seated, into the old pair. After the event, they have the power to feel and experience those vibes like they were their own. They coax a young cad into the hot seat, and afterwards find themselves wrapped in a crazy world crazy stuff. The young chap (Ian Ogilvy) is a bit of a wild one, womanising, violence and murder. But the old girl gets more out of it than the old bloke, who tries to stop the violence.
Sounds great eh? Too right. It’s all swinging 60’s, depravity and vicious cruelty. Ogilvy is stunning here, picking up great looking women in crazy bars, slashing ‘em up in a nasty way. Susan George gets it good and nasty in a brutal scene. Another girl, a swinging singer in a club gets forced to sing in an alleyway, a shocking scene of humiliation. Karloff is a legend too and here does not disappoint; real presence and charisma. Brilliant.
Finally, there is an amazing car chase at the end of the film, one to look out for which certainly give Bullet a run for its money, and through the streets of London too. Awesome.
Reeves was a real master. His triumph was Witchfinder General, but here he shows his talents as a fine director, working on a small budget but using brilliant actors. His vision is spectacular, emphasising a real darkness in every scene, bringing real vicious characters to life. A real tribute, but a damn shame he only got to shoot a few films before his untimely death. Raise your glass and drink this film deep.