Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 11, 2016


Three creepy stories from Nathaniel Hawthorne, all introduced & starring Vincent Price, are collected in this half-hearted try by United Artists to crash the low-end horror film market then being dominated by Roger Corman @ American International Pictures & British-based Hammer Films. Visually cramped when they’re meant to be claustrophobic; wet when we want ‘camp’; dull instead of ominous; only our collective ‘need-to-know’ gene, the DNA that says ‘open that door/what’s going to happen next’ keeps us watching. The first two stories are both about potions: one for youth; one a contagion of poison. Neither exactly thrums with moviemaking panache under routine megger Sidney Salkow. A shame on the second tale which intriguingly echoes Victor Hugo’s LE ROI S’AMUSE* (the source of Verdi’s RIGOLETTO). The rhythm perks up a tad on THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES, played as a straight haunted house/buried treasure morality piece. (Price, playing a different role, was also in the very free adaptation of 1940 from German ex-pat Joe May.) The models & effects are on the tacky side, but some blood-dripping walls are 'the dope.’ Perhaps the pic would play better by watching only one story at a time. At two hours, saving the best for last isn't enough to keep things from sagging.

ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: *Too-literate-for-his-own-good writer/director/producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz got off the worst pun in Hollywood history when he was an M-G-M exec trying to defend some inexplicable decision made by fellow studio producer/director Mervyn LeRoy. Questioned on what LeRoy’s rationale might have been on some long forgotten decision, Mankiewicz promptly came up with the likely cause: LeRoy s’amuse.

No comments: