The Sorcerers (1967/Region Zero/PAL Format/Prism)
PLEASE NOTE: This is a DVD that can only be
operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs set for Region Zero and the
PAL format, and can be ordered from our friends at Xploited Cinema through
They have this and hundreds of other great, usually very
hard to get titles that are often long overdo to his the U.S. DVD market. Be sure to visit their site for more details
on that as well.
Sound: C Extras: C+ Film: C+
Towards the end of his career, Boris Karloff still made
films, but many of them were not good.
One of the more interesting of them was Michael Reeves’ The Sorcerers
(1967) with Karloff as a nice married mad scientist who has an inexplicable
gadget that can give him and his wife a psychic connection to whoever is put
into the machine. Mike (Ian Ogilvy) is
their hapless subject, a slick young swinger in the London club scene. Once he is suckered, then put through the
machine, he becomes prone to blackouts.
At first, the couple agrees to see what will happen with
the success of their work, but then a power struggle develops because they
disagree on how they can enjoy or utilize this power to live vicariously
through this younger man. To Karloff’s
credit, he never allows his character to become cliché or mean, but the film is
made too safe on one level as a result.
On the other hand, some of the violence is still shocking and the style
is always interesting, even when the screenplay has lapses.
One interesting aspect of the film is to whether it is
Horror or Science Fiction, both of which have been synonymous with Karloff
since his first Frankenstein appearance in 1931. By default, it becomes a fantasy piece,
never explaining the science and not being a full Horror work. The 15 and up age rating fits well, though
this was pretty much shown uncut on U.S. commercial TV throughout the 1970s. Though ultimately not a great film, The
Sorcerers is an interesting genre piece with a good cast you will want to
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image shows some
aging, has some print flaws like scratches and minor debris, but the color is
not bad. Cinematographer Stanley A.
Long is at least bold enough to go for all kinds of trick shots to enhance the
story, which makes it all the easier.
The Dolby Digital is credited as 1.0 Mono on the case, but is 2.0 that
goes into Pro Logic mode automatically if you have a receiver. Sadly, it sounds like 1.0 and could use some
work. Extras include a 23 minutes long
look at Reeves’ career in a 1999 piece dubbed Blood Beast, text
production notes, text filmography, a stills gallery and trailers for this film
and Witchfinder General, which we hope to cover soon. Through www.xploitedcinema.com, both are
available at a very good price.
- Nicholas Sheffo