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THE DUNWICH HORROR - 1 Slime
Rated R
Copyright 1970 Filmways Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Wilbur Whateley - Dean Stockwell! A young cultist intent on bringing back "The Old Ones." Spontaneously combusts.
  • Nancy - Sandra Dee! Girl entranced by Wilbur's powers.
  • Doctor Armitage - Professor of the occult who possesses the powerful tomb "The Necronomicon."
  • Grandpa Whateley - Elder of the clan, falls down the steps.
  • Elizabeth - Another college girl, opens the wrong door and becomes monster chow.
  • Levinya Whateley - Wilbur's mother, a bit goofy since giving birth to the twins. Passes away and has her soul eaten by birds.
  • Doctor Cory - Town physician.
  • Wilbur's Brother - A monster which looks more like their father. What it does look like is a mass of rubber hands and snake heads. Banished to it's home dimension.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

PAINFULLY slow. Dean Stockwell's steady and faultless monotone didn't help either, no matter what he's describing it's the same droning voice. Just add some really long and drawn out scenes to this for the real horror.

Wilbur meets Armitage hoping to persuade him for time to study the Necronomicon, but is refused. So then he lures Nancy to his home and drugs her, using something which makes it's subject sleepy and prone to suggestion. After stealing the book everything is ready for his ritual, lucky for the human race Armitage arrives in time to save the day.

There's no joke about how much suffering this movie caused me, it has few redeeming qualities. One is that Elizabeth's clothes are all ripped off when the monster chomps her! (NO IDEA why that happened, but it's cool.) I stopped the film to get a good look at this "monster" - it really is a mass of latex snake heads and arms. They only give glimpses to prevent you getting a really good look and I don't blame them.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Worshippers of "The Old Ones" have to use self serve gas stations.
  • Never let a cultist make the tea.
  • Evil people do not use combs.
  • Giving birth to a monster from another dimension is hard on a girl.
  • Owls are kept nailed to porch railings.
  • Birds eat souls.
  • Pistols are more difficult to keep a hold on than a greased pig.
  • Glass paperweights are the leading cause of house fires.
  • Women make great book rests.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Wait! This is a horror movie right? Horror movies don't transition into some goofy cartoon during the opening credits...
  • 15 mins - Wilbur, your monotone is driving me up the wall.
  • 21 mins - Nancy is pretty darn hyper for having been drugged.
  • 22 mins - What the heck is making that sound?
  • 40 mins - Hello? Nancy? Every time you drink tea you get sleepy and dizzy...
  • 47 mins - Will this scene ever end?
  • 50 mins - I wouldn't open that door Elizabeth.
  • 61 mins - Here we go with reddish "possessed vision."
  • 68 mins - Can't see that gun very well, I don't think it should be making a sound like a pump shotgun though.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note dunwich1.wav Wilbur: "Doctor Armitage, I'd like permission to study the Necronomicon."
Green Music Note dunwich2.wav Armitage: "In ancient times that book was said to unlock the gates to another dimension, to another race of beings."
Green Music Note dunwich3.wav Nancy: "What did he believe in?"
Wilbur: "In another race of beings from a different dimension. An earlier race superior to man, and he believed they could be brought back."
Green Music Note dunwich4.wav Nancy: "Wilbur, those birds, what does it mean?"
Wilbur: "They were trying to capture his soul as it left his body."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage


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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdunwich1.mpg - 1.6m
Elizabeth gets to meet Wilbur's brother in this scene and I don't think she is very happy about it. Being flogged with rubber hands and snake heads is probably painful.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Mark Spangler
Oh, if only this movie couldv'e been a wee bit longer.  I like to prolong things like this movie and dental surgery as long as I can.  The only way this film experience could've been more enjoyable would be if I were taking a barium enema at the same time.  (In fact, I think they actually do this at some of the new octoplex theatres in suburbia... usually it's in theatre eight. Really, really late at night.  On Wednesday)

But, I digress.  Boy, what a stinker.  Not only does nothing really happen in this movie, but it takes forever getting there.  It's also rather confusing... and it plays tricks on the mind.  I've found that if you watch  this movie while pounding down some serious Jack Daniel's and Cokes,  Dean Stockwell begins to look like Ron Jeremy, which, of course, changes the whole ending of the feature.  It also makes Sandra Dee a little less insane and a little more attractive.  After you're throughly drunk, you can see what Bobby Darin was doing with her all those years, even though he knew he had a bum ticker and a limited amount of time with us.

There was actual potential with this film and story, but casting went a little nutty.  I guess Jerry Lewis and Rose Marie were unavailable for the leads, which explains the Stockwell-Dee pairing.

Sadly, I don't believe these two ever did another flick, which was, quite frankly, a doggone shame.  

Still, there is hope that we could reunite the two leads and do some type of live stage performance of the orginal film, but this time, maybe they could get it on instead of raising their arms to the redding sky and reciting mumbo jumbo from the Camp Fire Girls codebook.

Dunwich WAS a real horror.  Ick. One kernal.



The Dunwich Horror
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Hannah L.
Sandra Dee has to be the MOST beautiful creature on earth! I thought she & Dean Stockwell had great chemistry, which I wounldn't expect in such a freaky movie. Yes, the movie could've been better, but I'm not sure how. It seems like everyone involved did their best & to me, Sandra Dee was the best of all.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Teteli
In the first five minutes of the movie, the professor guy spoke the line, "Girls, if you could just drop the Necronomicon off at the library for me..."

What more is there to say, really?
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Xbalanque
This movie is an insult to Lovecraft's masterpiece
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by snipe
i disagree. I'm a huge Lovecraft fan - go to HPL Filmfests, collect all his (and other mythos circle authors) books, etc ad nauseum - i have a shrine to him in my house. But i did NOT hate this movie.

OK - from an HPL fan's point of view, yes - this movie is stupid. Number one - there are NO ROMANCE PLOTS IN ANY OF HPL's MYTHOS STORIES. NONE. Unless you count the romance of an archeologist getting giddy over an old relic, or some occultist getting wild-eyed over a Tome Of Hideous Knowledge..

Its still a good B-Movie tho. If you don't take it too seriously (and how can you take ugly naked hippies painted blue in a lovecraft story seriously).

It could have been a lot worse. at least the cheap ass acting and hick scenery really do give you a feel of what Dunwitch could be like. The guy who plays Armitage is pretty funny too.

Maybe only the most bent HPL fans will appriciate just how awful this movie is.. in a good way..
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Marko J.
Check out that funny looking owl (49 mins) on the porch. That's a true classic moment of hilarity! I also enjoyed the weird face expression of Stanton. Jim Carrey sucks compared to that :)
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by GreatCthulhu
You pathetic humans laugh while you can. One day the stars will be right and I will awaken, then we'll see who is laughing.

I'm making my naughty and nice list. Guess which one you made?

PS-I'm going to destroy the whole human race, but I'll start with the naughty ones.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Backseater
A much better Lovecraft adaptation than the series of Roger Corman ripoffs by American International which came out during the mid-to-late 1960s.  Corman shamelessly blended Lovecraft with Edgar Allen Poe, but this is the pure vintage.  I was in Korea when it came out and didn't see it for over 30 years until I chanced across the DVD last year.  It also has Sam Jaffee, (I think as Grandpa Whately) who played the Einstein-type scientist in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1953) and  Dr. Zorba on the Ben Casey TV show in the 1960s.  And of course, Sandra Dee.  Too bad she never got nekkid.

Best wishes.
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