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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 

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 



 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 ... 3 4 [5]
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #33. Posted on August 29, 2004, 02:25:50 PM by night heron
I read the origional book by H.P. LOVECRAFT but just like always the book must be better then the movie esspecialy when they like to dree it up with sex,grafic violence,adult languge and the likes
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #34. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by WitchKing
   I actually did enjoy this movie when I saw it on late night TV and bought the DVD shortly thereafter.  The atmosphere was appropriately oppressive and delerious-- the clifftop altar was impressive as hell as was the house interior.  I did get a kick out of the animated title sequence. Sure, the producers put a demented sixties spin on it, but Dean Stockwell is undeniably cool and Sandra Dee is appealing in a part that doesn't really require much from her.  There are some genuinely frightful aspects to the film:  the attack in the attic on the unsuspecting girl, the tracking p.o.v. shots of the liberated demon-twin sweeping over the darkened land, and even the tripped-out wash of primary colors during the rampage worked against the odds.  The monster may be a disappointment and the production was obviously made to cash-in on "Rosemary's Baby", but it's doubtful that anyone else short of Mario Bava, Kenneth Anger, or maybe Alexander Jodorowsky could've done Lovecraft justice at that time.  A good effort nonetheless.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #35. Posted on January 11, 2005, 07:02:57 PM by Quick2Murder
I liked it enough to buy it.  Of course, people tell me I have bad taste in movies.  Go Figure ; )
Re: The Dunwich Horror
Reply #36. Posted on August 24, 2007, 11:38:19 AM by radioman970
I paid 5 bucks for this DVD years ago and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  Fairly relaxing (some would translate to boring, but I don't mean that) for a witchy horror movie.  Sandra Dee kind of works for me in this and Dean comes off as very mysterious.  Sure, loads of weaknesses but I watch it every October without fail. 
Re: The Dunwich Horror
Reply #37. Posted on November 02, 2009, 03:19:15 PM by Flu-Bird
Isnt this suppost to be based on a short story by H.P. LOVECRAFT?
Re: The Dunwich Horror
Reply #38. Posted on November 10, 2010, 02:06:37 PM by Roman666
When did you, my friend, forget the name of this site (
Oh, sorry, your'e the owner!!  BounceGiggle
(Just kidding)
Re: The Dunwich Horror
Reply #39. Posted on April 09, 2014, 06:30:42 PM by zelmo73
While it is unfortunate that the original H.P. Lovecraft story was horribly mangled by the filmmakers, this movie all by itself is actually not that bad, especially for 1970. I've seen it a few times on cable TV and always had fun watching it. Dean Stockwell's performance seems to be bland on purpose because the character is supposed to be in contact with inter-dimensional beings, right? So he's gonna come off as kinda weird right from the get-go. Great review, nonetheless!
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