Thursday, October 4, 2012
THE VULTURE (1967). Writer/producer/director: Lawrence Huntington.
A woman (Annette Carrell) sees a grave opening from below and then a huge bird-like monster with a human head and hands emerges. Everyone thinks she must be crazy except for Dr. Eric Lutens (Robert Hutton) of the Atomic Energy Commission. Lutens, who is married to the niece, Trudy (Diane Clare), of two men named Stroud who live in the area (Broderick Crawford, Gordon Sterne), is immediately convinced -- without a shred of evidence -- not only that the creature is real but that it is the product of "nuclear transmutation." In other words an unknown person, seeking treasure, used energy to change places with the skeleton in the grave, but was unaware there was a vulture buried in there as well, so the result is a half-man/half-bird mutation [a la The Fly]. Surely there would have been easier ways to get treasure out of a grave! Anyway, this monster sets out to destroy its enemies one by one. Okay, the plot is patently absurd even for a low-budget British horror movie, but the movie is still fun and works up some suspense and creepiness. Crawford, as gruff as ever, is fine, Hutton is okay, but the picture is stolen by wily old Akim Tamiroff as Professor Koniglich. This was the last film for Huntington, who died the following year. Hutton was also in The Man Without a Body.
Verdict: Utterly illogical but amusing. ***.