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UK 1964
produced by
Robert L. Lippert, Jack Parsons for Lippert Pictures
directed by Don Sharp
starring Lon Chaney jr, Jack Hedley, Jill Dixon, Viola Keats, Marie Ney, David Weston, Diane Clare, Yvette Rees, Barry Linehan, Victor Brooks, Marianne Stone, John Dunbar, Hilda Fenemore
written by Harry Spalding, music by Carlo Martelli, conducted by Philip Martell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Laniers and the Whitlocks have long been at war with each other, essentially since the 17th century, when the Laniers had Vanessa Whitlock (Yvette Rees) branded a witch and buried alive. Then the Laniers moved into the Whitlock estate, too. Now, in the 20th century, Bill Lanier (Jack Hedley) would on one hand love to bury the hatchet between the two families - on the other hand though, he wants to turn the graveyard the Whitlocks are buried in into a building site, much to the outrage of Morgan Whitlock (Lon Chaney jr). The law though is on Lanier's side, but that doesn't give his partner Forrester (Barry Linehan) the right to desecrate the graveyard as such, something even Lanier is outraged about. However, when Lanier pays a visit to the graveyard that night, he accidently releases Vanessa from the grave she has spent the last 300 years in, and she now helps Morgan Whitlock to have his revenge, first killing Forrester, then Lanier's aunt (Viola Keats) and even making an attempt on Lanier and his brother Todd (David Weston) - and they only survive by a hair, and it slowly dawns upon them witchcraft might be involved here ...

In the meantime, Lanier's wife Tracy (Jill Dixon) has made friends with Todd's girlfriend Amy (Diana Clare), who just happens to be Morgan Whitlock's niece who seems to be under some strange spell - and one time, when Tracy sees Amy disappearing into an abandoned mausoleum, she follows her ... and promptly falls into the hands of a witches coven led by none other than Morgan Whitlock. Vanessa meanwhile goes after Lanier's grandmother (Marie Ney), the only one who knows the whole story, but fails to kill her - so for the finale she can send over Lanier and Todd to the mausoleum to save Tracy just in time. And when Morgan orders Vanessa to kill Todd, Amy can break the spell over her and set Vanessa, the mausoleum, but unfortunately also herself on fire to save the day ...


Witchcraft is a film I am of two minds about: It has its powerful scenes, it atmospheric in a loveably old-fashioned way, and it features some pretty good performances ... but that said, its plot is a bit of a mess, quite a few scenes could do with quite a bit more tension and suspense, and plenty of the characters lack depth and motivation. Now it's still ok vintage genre entertainment, one just gets the feeling they simply weren't trying hard enough to make this really good.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD