Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Jack Palance
CRAZE (1974). Director: Freddie Francis.

Antiquities dealer Neal Mottram (Jack Palance) belongs to a witchcraft cult and worships an idol of an African deity known as Chuku. After the accidental death of a woman in his shop, whose neck is pierced by sharp protuberances from the idol, Mottram finds his fortunes taking a turn for the better; so he keeps making sacrifices to Chuku by killing people, including his elderly Aunt Louise (Edith Evans), who's left him just about everything in her will. Mottram is assisted by his young associate and ward, Ronnie (Martin Potter of Fellini Satyricon), who is not exactly a willing participant. Palance and Potter are both fine, as is the now zoftig Diana Dors [The Unholy Wife] as an old girlfriend of Mottram's who provides him with an alibi. Trevor Howard [Brief Encounter] appears briefly as a higher-up in the police, but Hugh Griffith [Tom Jones] has a chance to make more of an impression as Aunt Louise's slightly eccentric solicitor. Suzy Kendall [Torso] also scores as a prostitute-victim. The picture is minor but entertaining, although devoid of style.

Verdict: Chuku proves a fickle god. **1/2.

No comments: