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Conqueror Worm

Vincent Price , Ian Ogilvy , Michael Reeves    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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A bewigged Vincent Price goes full-on evil in The Conqueror Worm, based on the life of England's self-proclaimed "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins and his assistant, John Stern, ride through spectacular location shots around England, looking for disciples of the devil to torture and burn. (Indeed, the devil must be at work, for the skies are bright blue even though people keep saying it's nighttime.) Nevertheless, Hopkins and Stern seem to have a knack for picking on the innocent, notably the fiancée of young soldier Richard Marshall. Price turns in another top performance, delicately mixing false piety and sadism with a dash of lecherousness. Can Hopkins be stopped? Will Marshall risk desertion to save his love? Why are those women just sitting around the inn topless? The answers to these questions and more await you in The Conqueror Worm. --Ali Davis

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
England has a civil war between the Royalist and the Parliament Party that are fighting for power over the country. Matthew Hopkins and his aid John Stearne exploit the situation of the war as they travel around finding witches to kill in the name of God, which in essence is a way for them to live out their sadistic behaviors. Many poor individuals fall under brutal torture by Hopkins and Stearne which often leads them into confessing witchcraft. The two servants of God make one mistake as they kill a priest that is good friends with a soldier and also rape the soldier's future wife. Conqueror Worm
(UK Title: Witchfinder General) is a fierce horror film with historical implications to the failure of Christianity and witch hunts. The film will leave the audience with distaste for the action of humankind that was sanctioned by Christian Church. In the end, Witchfinder General offers a satisfactory cinematic experience that gives a cause for the audience to ponder our past, current, and future actions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
... or maybe the best horror western ever. What you make of this will depend on two things. How much you like old British horror and how much you know about the production of this particular film. When you realize that this is the last production of a young talented Director, Michael Reeves, who died (25 - accidental overdose) on the path to being one of the all time greatest film directors, and that this is his third, last and best film, you will under its value (as an example of his talent watch the shot in this film of young children cooking potatoes in the ashes of a 'witch' that has just been burned). It is a notch above your average late 1960s early 1970s horror films. In fact it is a notch above nearly every British film making it one of the British modern classics.
The story is based on the real life times and crimes of the lawyer and Witchfinder General - Mathew Hopkins, who set about destroying alleged witches across England with the full power of the law. This film depicts the various acts of torture and trials conducted on witches making it an extremely important historical document (as a note the Western influence comes from the gallant long countryside horseback riding shots, mobs in the villages and things like gallows being erected in the same vein as the cowboy movies in the USA of that era. It WORKS extremely well!) It is also certainly the best rendition of such grim persecutions to date on the screen (US viewers should think Salem Witch Trials x 100).
There is an interesting plot involving a young soldier whose fiancée's father - a priest, is put on trial for witchcraft while the soldier is away.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Vincent tour-de-force Jan. 31 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As with any movie coming out of a less edit-heavy, production conscious tradition, one must allow it to have lapses in logic or continuity in places. For its time and genre, the movie works and, I would echo others, it is refreshing to see Vincent Price plumb his artistic depths... sadly, it would not be too much after this movie that he would be mocking his art in the campy TV show, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a disturbing and heart pounding film March 18 2004
Format:VHS Tape
first off, i'll come out and say that i don't care about the petty feuds between Vincent and the director, or the star and director of any movie! from what i've learned, Reeves was acting like he was a hot shot and by 1968 Vincent was a LEGEND and knew his way around acting and when he questioned the director about something, Reeves coldly replied that Vincent was clueless and his entire career was meaningless. now, had this been a stuffy or an egotistical celebrity i wouldn't have a problem but my god, Vincent Price? He was one of the least egotistical people in the profession and he didn't take himself seriously, and because of this it allowed him to spoof himself in the later years and have fun with his image. Reeves also never visited or checked up on Vincent after an accident happened on the set: Vincent fell off a horse and Reeves purposely ignored Vincent hoping the anger would come across on film! this 1968 film on witch-craft and Matthew Hopkins shows what a great actor Vincent was. Who else had the versatility to do this intense film but yet a year prior he was cavorting around as Dr. Goldfoot in two films as well as appearing as Egghead on the TV show "Batman"! Vincent is often ignored and his LONG career (1935-1992) is constantly being down-played by critics who prescribe the silly notion that horror movies are bad and anyone who gets a kick out of them are bad for society. such garbage! Matthew Hopkins, as played by Vincent, isn't lovable or hammy as we all love Vincent to be...this is probably the only role of his where the viewer has no sympathy and you cheer on his eventual comeuppance and this one is a doozy! it IS a horror movie because it has all the elements: violence, evil, blood, death, intensity, scream queens, and atmosphere... Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Needs to be on DVD Sept. 6 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I can only say that it is a great movie and the only way to make it better would be for it to be presented on widescreen on DVD.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A much different look for Price
This film, set in 1645 strife-torn England has Price in a serious role very different from his usual tongue-in-cheek horror flicks. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2002 by "waymakerjim"
3.0 out of 5 stars I love Vincent Price
I saw this movie when I was just 13 or 14 and I have to admit, it was pretty darn scary. This may have been what we now call a "sleeper" ~ I'm not sure what made me go to... Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2001 by Madison
5.0 out of 5 stars Witchfinder General
The rating is for the film itself, not this version.Perhaps Price's best performance.This film merits a 'restoration' on DVD.Use the orginal title.Lose the narration. Read more
Published on July 28 2001 by Paladin
2.0 out of 5 stars A worm that should be trodden on.
Oh dear the ravages of time have rendered this worm very weak. I saw it as Witchfinder General in the UK years ago and the audience cheered when the revenge hit the floor. Read more
Published on June 9 2001 by timothy evans
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEAUTIFUL WITCH-BURNING FILM
Vincent Price shines in this film that takes us to beautiful, peaceful outdoor scenes, and then takes us to disturbing, ugly scenes of man's inhumanity to the weak and helpless. Read more
Published on March 14 2001 by "flamingtelepath"
5.0 out of 5 stars Very blunt, very disturbing.
All of the stops were pulled out from this nearly forgotten horror classic, set during the English Civil War. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal tale of ignorance
"The Conqueror Worm" may be Vincent Price's most violent and bloody film, but it's also one of his best. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2000 by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars "Underated classic"
One of the most disturbing and brutal films of all time. Vincent Price tones down his flamboyant acting style to give one of his most harrowing performances as brutal witchunter... Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2000 by Hammerhead
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