Review – The Oblong Box (1969)


The Oblong Box was one of the last films, made in 1969, by American International Pictures. Vincent Price made many films with them including the adaptions of most of the Edgar Allen Poe novels and short stories, including The Masque of the Red Death and The Fall of the House of Usher. I grew up with these wonderfully grim and bleak tales, which were always screened late at night, and i have very fond memories of them.

A classic Double Bill i’d have loved to have seen back in the day

The story goes something like this. Julian Markham (Vincent Price) is forced to keep his brother Edward chained up following Edward’s return from Africa as a kind of deformed madman. This is due to an incident we find out about later in the film. Concocting a scheme to rescue him, Edward’s friend Trench and a native witch doctor slip Edward a poison that places him into a death-like coma. Julian arranges the burial, blackmailing Trench into getting another body to make locals think it is Edward. However, thanks to a huge cock up, grave robbers then dig up Edward’s body and sell it to Dr Neuhartt (Christoher Lee) who revives him, which he later regrets. Hiding his face behind a scarlet hood, the crazed Edward begins killing townspeople.

It’s an enjoyable Poe type romp but it’s a little light on chirpier moments, basically there are none. Vincent Price and Christopher Lee enjoy themselves immensely, playing their roles for all they’re worth. We also have an appearance by Hilary Dwyer, who like me, you will all remember from another Vincent Price classic, Witchfinder General, a movie i reviewed a while ago.

I really enjoyed this film and the shock ending did genuinely catch me out. Definetley check this out if you get chance……..

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I am passionate about movies and cinema generally. I love talking about them and writing about them.

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