October 4th -- Crucible of Horror (aka The Corpse)
This odd little relic of the '70s (actually 1970, on the nose), "Crucible of Horror" really isn't a good film. There are goo things about it, mind you, but the cons do quite a job of outweighing the pros in this instant.
The film stars Michael Gough (later Alfred in the Tim Burton-era "Batman" movies) as the cold patriarch of an extremely repressed British family. The mother is emotionless and withdrawn, the daughter steals money from the father's business partner after carrying on with him and the son is a carbon-copy of the father. After the father horsewhips his daughter for stealing the money, they mother and daughter concoct a plan to kill him and free themselves from tyranny. Problem is, the father's body disappears and it now appears he may still be alive. Or is he?
Not much about "Crucible of Horror," aside from Gough's performance, really works. The film is unnecessarily trippy, especially in a series of dreams that the mother has. It also has a tendency to meander, chewing up precious minutes of time in ways that don't advance atmosphere or storyline. I also find the son to be an insufferable prat (he was Gough's actual son, in real life), whereas the wife is just flatout strange. The ending of the film manages to be both vague and fairly nonsensical, although it allows for a fairly poetic fadeout into the final credits.
The film is not particularly horrific, despite the title, although there are some questions as to the final resolution. It is, however, sensationally British and completely indebted to its era. Although occasionally suspenseful (very occasionally), "Crucible of Horror" doesn't have much to recommend it. Consider this a Halloween list fail.