Witchfinder General / Michael Reeves

  • Country and year: UK 1968
  • Duration: 86 min
  • Director: Michael Reeves
  • Writer: Michael Reeves, Tom Baker (based on Ronald Bassett’s novel)
  • Producer(s): Louis M. Heyward, Arnold Miller, Philip Waddilove
  • Cinematographer: John Coquillon
  • Music: Paul Ferris
  • Cast: Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies, Hilary Dwyer, Robert Russell, Nicky Henson, Patrick Wymark, Wilfred Brambell
  • Format: DCP

“Fifty years on, [Michael] Reeves’ film has gained rather than lost its sense of horror, showcasing a stark awareness of the inner violence possible in even the most everyday of places and people. —

Released in the UK on 19 May 1968, Witchfinder General is a subversive masterpiece that turns a journeying revenge horror into a genuinely questioning film about the power of belief and the true horrors that lurk in the fields and forests of England.

Witchfinder General’s key innovation is its portrayal of the rural landscape. On the one hand, Reeves and his cameraman John Coquillon portray the countryside with a typical, romantic hue, with the locations in East Anglia (as well some unmarked countryside in Buckinghamshire) both pastoral and beautiful. But this is contrasted with the extreme violence that takes place there. Underneath the pleasant veneer, there is a dark, rumbling reality of violence and the old ways.” – Adam Scovell / BFI

 

“One of the most personal and mature statements in the history of British cinema”
– David Pirie / Time Out

“A masterpiece”
– Kim Newman / BBC

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