The Oblong Box 1969 (1969) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Aristocrat Julian Markham keeps his disfigured brother, Sir Edward, locked in a tower of his house. Sir Edward occasionally escapes and causes havoc around the town. Runtime: 96 mins Release Date: 11 Jun 1969
We have all kind of barbarities featuring in this dark and moody tale. Only the wicked pen of Edgar Allen Poe could have come up with a tale that blends voodoo, body snatching, medical experiments, brotherly betrayal and a taste of what most likely is the worst imaginable nightmare: being buried alive! Set in the second half of the 19th century, Vincent Price oh, how I love this man stars as a wealthy landlord who returned from Africa severely traumatized. His brother got cursed by the aboriginals there and now lives locked up in his room, heavily deformed. But he's still clever enough <more>
to plan an escape and pays some small crooks to have him appear dead. Due to several unfortunate events, the plan goes wrong and Sir Edward's supposedly dead body ends up in the laboratory of morbid scientist Christopher Lee another man I love! The entire film carries some sort of unnameable eeriness. The depressing set pieces and colorless locations add a great deal to the sublime horrific atmosphere. All this, together with an intriguing and complex screenplay makes this movie yet another highlight in the careers of Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. Both icons of horror give away amazing performances and it's actually a damn shame they don't share many sequences together. This is a marvelous film from the time that horror still was the greatest genre in cinema. They simply can't deliver movies as good as this anymore. Maybe I'm giving it a little too much praise but you can't but agree with me that at least this kind of horror oldies demand a much wider attention span than the nowadays gore-junk. For that aspect alone, I feel obliged to give it a high rating.
Gordon Hessler's "The Oblong Box" of 1969 starring the great Vincent Price is a creepy, and excellent Horror tale with a great atmosphere. The movie, whose cast also includes another great horror icon, Christopher Lee, is only loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same name, a fact that, in my opinion, does not downsize the quality of this eerie and obscure film. "The Oblong Box" combines all kinds of elements a fan of Gothic Horror cinema could desire: Voodoo, disfigurement, premature burial, and of course a constant eerie atmosphere and a bunch of <more>
bloody murders.In 18th century England, Sir Julian Markham Vincent Price keeps his brother Edward Aliester Williamson locked in a chamber in the tower of his mansion. Edward had been disfigured during a voodoo ceremony in Africa, and since gone completely insane. With some help, however, Edward manages to fake his own death in order to flee his prison, using methods which include a premature burial...Vincent Price is my favorite actor of all-time and his performance is, as always, superb, and no other actor would have fit in his role as Price does. Christopher Lee also delivers a great performance as a body-snatching doctor, a role in which he once again proves that his reputation as a horror icon is more than justified. The cast furthermore includes the beautiful Hillary Dwyer, who had already starred besides Price in Michael Reeves' masterpiece "Witchfinder General" in 1968, and who would play besides Price again in 1970, in "Cry Of The Banshee", also directed by Gordon Hessler, in the female lead.An excellently written and directed and superbly acted movie, "The Oblong Box" is a film which fans of Gothic Horror can't afford to miss. "Witchfinder General" director Michael Reeves was originally considered to direct the film, but died before the shooting began, and although I have utmost respect for this promising director, who sadly passed away at such a young age, I must say that I cannot imagine anyone to do a better job directing "The Oblong Box" than Hessler did. An excellent little tale of terror, "The Oblong Box" is a must-see for every Horror-fan. 9/10
Atmospheric and entertaining, though nothing like Poe's "Oblong Box" (by hitfan)
I recently got the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe in a single volume for Christmas and around the same time, I acquired "The Oblong Box" movie through a tape trader on the internet which was recorded from a 1982 broadcast of Movie Macabre--where Elvira provides her own colorful commentary just before the commercial breaks.I had put off watching this film because I wanted to read the Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name. In that story, a man brings an oblong box on a ship voyage to New York. A hurricane causes the ship to sink, and the man refuses to go on a lifeboat, <more>
clinging to the box as he drowns. We find out later that the contents of the oblong box was the corpse of the man's recently deceased wife.The movie version is nothing like this, of course. It involves Vincent Price burying his brother alive after which, the latter goes insane and lusts for revenge. It might have been more fitting to call this one "The Premature Burial" another Poe short story but there is another movie with this same name a Corman film also based on the Poe story .In spite of the misleading title, I enjoyed it. Vincent Price is one of those actors who makes every movie, no matter how bad, very entertaining when he appears in it. Christopher Lee also appears, though I wish he had more screen time with Price. I really liked the period settings and costumes which contributed to the overall enjoyment of the film.On the B-movie scale, I rate this a 9.
The Oblong Box is a delightful treat for the horror fan. Starring two of the genre's great legends - Vincent Price and Christopher Lee and albeit loosely based on a story penned by the master of the macabre, Edgar Allen Poe, could it be anything but an immense slice of horror entertainment? The answer would seem to be no as this tale of disfigurement, voodoo, premature burial and revenge hits all the right spots. There are a lot of themes going on in the movie, and because of this the storytelling gets a little messy at times - but it doesn't matter, as whenever the story takes a <more>
downturn, it's strong leads are always on hand to ensure that it never gets boring. The story follows a man who keeps his brother, who has been hideously deformed as a result of a voodoo curse, locked up in the attic. After his plan to escape goes awry, the deformed brother finds himself in the laboratory of Christopher Lee's mad scientist...It's true that neither Vincent Price nor Christopher Lee deliver their best performance in this movie, but come on - it's two legends, in the same movie together. They could just sit around and throw coins at a wall and I'd be riveted! The expansive plot gives way to a tale of terror with many different angles, and this allows the film to take in many intriguing elements. Poe's favourite topic - being buried alive - features quite heavily, and is done in a very effective way towards the end. Voodoo will always be a fascinating subject as there's so much that can be done with it, and the idea of having someone disfigured as the result of a curse borders on genius. There's no black cat in the film, but we do have a strong revenge theme that echoes such classics as "The Invisible Man" in the way it's presented. As mentioned, it does get a little messy but there's enough intrigue in each section of the story for it not to really matter. When the brother's face is finally shown, it is a little disappointing but it hardly matters as it's backed up by a great ending that actually manages to be quite frightening!
Stylish, Complex, and Senselessly Violent! (by profh-1)
The opening premise of THE OBLONG BOX is almost identical to the Peter Davison DOCTOR WHO story, "Black Orchid". A man returns from Africa, cursed by tribal magic, disfigured & insane, and kept a prisoner in his own home by his family. But whereas on the WHO story that was the punch line, here's it's just the springboard. Said victim secretly pays some friends to help him escape his brother-- Vincent Price-- who comes across as much nicer than most of these films, but all the same seems to be hiding something. Via more witch doctor "magic", the man fakes his <more>
own death... but then things go astray. SERIOUSLY astray. He's buried alive, then his "body" is stolen by grave-robbers in the employ of an unscrupulous medical adventurer. One expects Peter Cushing in such a role, but NO! --it's Christopher Lee! WHY his "friends" failed to follow-thru on their plan is a complete mystery to me-- I blame an unpolished script. It would have been a much more entertaining and sensible twist if they'd actually TRIED digging him up only to find the grave-robbers got there FIRST...! But no. The result: in addition to wanting to find out WHY he had a jungle curse put on him, Price's brother now wants REVENGE on everyone involved. Armed with a mask and a VERY sharp knife, his antics in the film's 2nd half make this seem like a Victorian-era installment of the HALLOWEEN series!!! I understand the late Michael Reeves was scheduled to direct; this may explain why Price, Rupert Davies DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE and Hilary Dwyer CRY OF THE BANSHEE are all together again following WITCHFINDER GENERAL-- and why there's so much pointless VIOLENCE in the story. While that film disturbed me in the EXTREME each time I sat thru it, OBLONG BOX is a LOT more "fun"-- if you can get past the growing number of bodies, most of which were killed in particularly brutal and senseless fashion. 2 interesting things I noticed about this plot, as it goes on nearly every character seems to be BLACKMAILING somebody it seems EVERYBODY has some secret they don't want known , and the sympathetic-yet-INSANE victim/SLASHER only seems to kill people who've done wrong. The sweet, innocent housekeeper gets terrified and dragged thru the woods, but nothing REALLY happens to her! Interesting cameos to watch for: Colin Jeavons Inspector Lestrade on the Jeremy Brett HOLMES series plays a police inspector, as does Ivor Dean Inspector Teal on the Roger Moore SAINT series! .With this film, producer Louis M. Heyward & director Gordon Hessler began a string of collaborations, all of which were somewhat iffy. Like WAR-GODS OF THE DEEP which Heyward produced OBLONG BOX feels like the script could have used to fine-tuning. WHY did Price do what he did before the picture started? HOW was it nobody at his brother's viewing realized the body on display was SOMEBODY ELSE? etc. All the same, I find it more watchable than most of these.
Another Price/Poe movie that is worth watching. I found the movie a highly interesting Gothic horror mystery-thriller. It is as creepy as it is suspenseful.Julian Markham Price and his brother Edward Markham Williamson spent some time in Africa doing some dirty deeds. Edward's face becomes disfigured by a witchdoctor and he is held like a prisoner by his own brother Julian. When Edward escapes he ends up in the home of Dr. Newhartt Lee and begins to wear a red mask to hide is disfigured face. Edward wants answers as to why he was the victim of witchcraft and becomes vengeful in <more>
doing so.I do recommend this film for those that enjoy Poe, Price, Lee and classic horror, mysteries and thrillers.8/10