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The Undead

USA 1957
produced by
Roger Corman for AIP
directed by Roger Corman
starring Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, Allison Hayes, Val Dufour, Mel Welles, Dorothy Neuman, Billy Barty, Bruno VeSota, Aaron Saxon, Richard Devon, Dick Miller
screenplay by Charles B.Griffith, Mark Hanna, music by Ronald Stein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Quintus (Val Dufour) tries to prove his theories about regression (meaning helping people remember their past lives) by hypnotizing streetwalker Diane (Pamela Duncan) with sonme techniques he has learned in Nepal & thus letting her life one of her past lives ... & she is sent to the Dark Ages, where her former self, Helena (also Pamela Duncan of course) is about to be burned as a witch (albeit innocent). But advice from Diana, her future self able to talk to her on a mental level, help her to escape her dungeon & hide from her pursuers in a coffin the mad gravedigger Smolkin (Bruno VeSota) carries on his hearse. & Smolkin, though mad, shows pity with the girl & hides her at Meg Maud's (Dorothy Neuman), a good witch.

& Maud Meg even gets her lover Pendragon (Richard Garland) to her, who's worried stiff about her & whose soul & love evil witch Livia (Allison Hayes) tries to win over - but with little success once Meg Maud steps in & challenges her to a magic duel.

Soon though Livia manages to cause enough confusion to tear the loers apart again & convince Pendragon that Helena has been recaptured, & the only way to free her is to sell his soul to the devil - who conveniently enough just happens to stop by at the local cemetary tonight since it's witches' sabbath. Reluctantly, Pendragon agrees ...

But wait, help is on the way in the form of Doctor Quintus who, in the present, has realized his regression experiment will alter time if Helena is not executed this night, & thus Quintus travels back in time (in a quite corporeal form) to convince Pendragon to not sell his soul & to convince Helena to end her life tonight on the scaffolding so that all her future selves - including streetwalker Diana - can live.

Heavy heartedly, Helena agrees & rushes to her own execution which she reaches just before dawn, & ther she is beheaded ... & her future self Diane wakes up, having become a better woman because of this experience.

But Doctor Quintus ? He is doomed to live his life in the Dark Ages, having apparently not thought his experiment through to the end - & Satan (Richard Devon) has the last laugh.

 

In the 1950's, when Roger Corman was churning out drive-in fodder for AIP & Allied Artists by the dozen, he made many a wild movie ... & this quite possibly was his wildest: an enjoyable if somewhat muddled blend of esoteric theories, time travel, black magic & witch hunt all done in a medieval setting & definitely on the cheap (a studio forest & massive fog are used to hide the absence of adequate sets - to charming results though). The result - needless to say - is unintentionally funny ... but at the same time highly entertaining.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD