Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jean-Pierre Aumont, Boris Karloff, Viveca Lindfors, Rosenda Monteros, Milo Quesada, Dyanik Zurakowska, Rubén Rojo, Jacqui Speed
Written by: José Luis Bayonas, Edward Mann, based on a story by Edward Mann, John Melson
Directed by: Santos Alcocer
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 99
Date: 10/24/2014

Cauldron of Blood (1970)

1 Star (out of 4)

'Blood' Dud

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I was so excited when a new Blu-ray of a Boris Karloff horror movie arrived in the mail just before Halloween. It was even one I hadn't seen. But imagine my boredom and frustration when Cauldron of Blood turned out to be a total bore, worse even than Roger Corman's The Terror and worse than Karloff's late-period Mexican movies by Jack Hill (like Fear Chamber).

Karloff plays a blind sculptor who has married one of his models (Viveca Lindfors); she now provides skeletons for him to use in his sculptures. But Karloff is only in maybe about 20 minutes of this 99 minute film. The rest follows Claude Marchand (Jean-Pierre Aumont), who I think is a photographer or something. (My attention was wandering.) He's assigned to shoot the sculpture for a magazine story, and he does, and then he spends the rest of the movie hanging around with a pretty blonde (Rosenda Monteros), who, I must admit, helped stave off my complete unconsciousness. There's another pretty blonde (Dyanik Zurakowska), and I think I might have got them mixed up.

There are some weird dream sequences, and a psychedelic title sequence, and -- for no apparent reason -- a costume ball. It drags on and on with very little in the way of suspense, story, characters, or even interest. It was filmed in Spain in 1967, just before Karloff's death in February of 1969. It was released, barely, in 1970. Olive Films has now released the Blu-ray edition, good-looking as usual, but also with no extras.

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