Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,
Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “The Dunwich Horror” details devious Wilbur Whateley’s scheme to summon the odious Old Ones.
To give credit where it is due, The Creeping Craig inspired this review as his harsh critique of this flick moved me to make it my next pick.
Given the source one would have thought that there would be a bit more plot, but instead the story careens between illogical and barely connected scenes. The reason that this plot fails is that it never gives us any details and only briefly touches on the broad implications without much mention of motivations. Even though things make little sense the humor makes up some of the difference which may not have been the intention, but it still deserves a mention.
Whether it was purposeful or merely gaffes, the acting drives many of the laughs and the performances are so incredibly dated that almost all of them feel overstated. Dean Stockwell came a crossed as the best as he easily out camps all the rest and he is especially a sight to see when he offers the leading lady a cup of tea. If this was supposed to be serious or amusing becomes a question that is quite confusing and since the rest of the cast plays it straight it does seem sort of up for debate.
This movie ends up feeling like a relic because a lot of it is psychedelic from the costumes, effects, and even the score it oozes hallucinatory from every pore. The first subtle clue that this was going to be trippy was that our lead looks like some funky hippie and if that was not enough then add to the mix all of the negative camera tricks. The best thing to come of this psychedelic attack is the truly memorable rock soundtrack which given the vibe never felt out of place and proved to be a saving grace.
In summation, do not come into this looking for a scare as it is a nonsensical campy affair which is a psychedelic tour de force and bears little resemblance to its source.
Stick to the shadows my fine friends.
Mr. William Nightshade