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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 [2] 3 4 5
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Loverlyrose
I watched this movie purely by accident on tv the other night, and enjoyed it! It was a fairly descent gothic, but not at all scary but just creepy with a good morbid sense of humor! The performances were good, especially by it's two leads Dean Stockwell, and Sandra Dee! I've always enjoyed Dean Stockwell's acting(Married to the Mob, tv's Quantum Leap) and was quite taken by how young and handsome he looked, and I always thought Sandra Dee was sweet & cute in her teen movies like Gidget, but looks astonishingly beautiful and gives a fairly convincing performance here!
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #10. Posted on March 04, 2001, 05:47:19 PM by Macabre Matt
I always find this film hard to sit all the way through. I usually start dropping off in the middle. Roger Corman was executive producer on the film, Dean Stockwell got the part after Peter Fonda passed to appear in Easy Rider.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Georgiann
I love H.P. Lovecraft, and I love Dean Stockwell.  Unfortunately, overall this movie didn't do justice to either of them despite a few atmospheric bits.  It is neat to see Dean looking so very young, though.  I didn't hate it, it's just mediocre and could have been much better without that distracting red-tinted reverse photography and hippie orgy hallucinations.  
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by lostmissy
I think this would have a "good" movie if there had been
about 15 (or so)minutes longer. The editing was choppy
enough that the movie theme(plot?) was never around enough
to make sense! but for a 70's cheap flick, it was better
then most.  
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Jordan Garren
The Dunwich Horror may be a B-Movie but it's not a "bad" movie. I purchased it and watched the movie, expecting horrible pain and endless agony. What I got was a pleasant wasn't all that bad!!! Phew! Granted there have been thousands of better made movies, that are vastly more entertaining. It's like right in the middle of it all...not good not bad. As Andrew Borntreger once said (about "Starship") "this movie is so average it'd be sent to fight Zarkorr" (From "Zarkorr the Invader"). Hehehehe.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Chad Edwards
Not bad at all. And actually, much better than you'd expect. In fact, it's one of the few movies to make an honest attempt to capture the mood and atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft's works. Surely, those '70's psychedelic effects have dated, but several of the performances hold up quite well. Dean Stockwell is a magnificent presence as the outwardly attractive, but inwardly deadly Wilbur Whately. As his intended victim, Sandra Dee looks lovely and registers strongly. Long-standing veterans Ed Begley and Sam Jaffe are also in there and contribute their usual first-rate performances.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Grumpy Jim
I first saw this flic at the base theater at Hamilton AFB when it was released, but I didn't get to hear much of it, because the sergeant sitting behind me with his two young daughters was constantly moaning, "Oh, my God, oh my GOD!"  Distracting, but somehow fitting.  Decades later my daughter saw it and liked it so much she bought a copy.  Anyway, I've certainly seen worse.  At least Dean Stockwell's hair wasn't green.
The Dunwich Horror
Reply #16. Posted on October 15, 2001, 09:28:09 PM by rebecca
you gota be kidding me!!! when you look like dean stockwell did then, you dont have to say a goddamn thing. you speak only with your eyes. and if your lucky enough to possess those powers, then, so mote it be. this will always be my favorite movie. i rent it all the time. until i actually go out and purchase it.
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