Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, September 23, 2019

Catacombs ( 1965 )

"Their plan was murder.....their reward was terror!"

Ellen Garth ( Georgiana Cookson ) is a wealthy and astute British businesswoman whose money and power have been used to buy herself a husband to help care for her. Raymond ( Gary Merrill ) is charming and devoted to helping her but has no love for the domineering woman. When her teenage niece Alice ( Jane Merrow ) arrives in London, Raymond falls in love with her and begins to plot to murder his wife. 

Catacombs is a good little thriller with a clever twist at the end. It was released in the United States as The Woman Who Wouldn't Die which is probably a better title for the picture because that's exactly what seems to be happening to Raymond's wife....she keeps popping up in his life even after he thinks she is dead and buried. 

Gordon Hessler, who was the story editor and later associate producer of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, made his feature film directorial debut with Catacombs and, not surprisingly, it plays out like an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Most of the action is confined to two main areas, Ellen's London apartment and the honeymoon cottage that she shared with Raymond. Since it was a budget film, there are only 5-6 actors in the entire picture, but this does not hinder its entertainment value in any way. On the contrary, some of the best films had casts of less than eight people.
Gary Merrill gives a strong performance as the middle-aged Raymond. He obviously married Ellen for her money but you have to give him credit for being such a devoted husband in spite of that solitary reason. Georgina Cookson also gives a good - and frightening - performance as Ellen. Her character suffers from muscular pain and, when it especially hurts, she uses hypnosis to put herself into a trance to be free of the pain. Later, this becomes a key point in the plot because Raymond has doubts about whether he actually did kill Ellen or whether she was in one of her trances and he simply thought he killed her. Also in the cast is Neil McCallum ( Vendetta ) who plays Ellen's business secretary. 
Catacombs is available on DVD through Network Distributing who did an excellent transfer from "original film elements". If you like The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, William Castle movies, and budget horror films, then you will certainly want to check out this entertaining thriller. 

5 comments:

  1. Oh. it's been ages since I saw this one, so your review bought back some memories. That poster art is quite memorable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to take you down memory lane! That poster art is indeed impressionable and I like the tagline on this US poster: "The story of the girl who returned twice from the grave". I think Ellen Garth was well past her girlhood. ;-)

      Delete
  2. I have not seen this one, but I'm quite fond of 1960s suspense films like this one. You do a wonderful job of covering interesting, but sometimes lesser-known movis. That's one of the many reasons I enjoy visiting your blog on a regular basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for being a regular reader, Rick! I love spreading the news about lesser-known gems. If you like the 60s mysteries, then you have to check out the Edgar Wallace films. There were 46 films in that series made between 1960-1966! Most are available through Network DVD.

      Delete
  3. Wow! this is Amazing! Do you know your hidden name meaning ? Click here to find your hidden name meaning

    ReplyDelete