Hello again, friends! On this episode of VPL we are discussing one of Vincent Price’s most notable works, Witchfinder General. This 1968 film is infamous for being relentlessly graphic and gory, dealing with the dark subject matter of 17th Century witch hunts in England. Most critics shunned the film because of its violent depictions of witch hunting interrogations, but there is no mistaking this film for throwaway nonsense.
Vincent Price plays Matthew Hopkins, the self-proclaimed Witchfinder General from real British history. In this episode, you’ll find out why Hopkins was a loathsome fellow, and how Price portrayed him perfectly.
In America, this film was released under the title The Conqueror Worm, the name seemingly picked out of a hat containing Edgar Allan Poe references. “The Conqueror Worm” is a poem written by Poe that really has nothing to do with witches or war or anything else that this film contains. Andrew gets into why the studio felt the need to change the title, so be sure to listen. And, just for fun, check out Vincent reading the poem here:
Witchfinder General is an unique film that’s definitely worth checking out. And, not to mention the dreaded “R” word, but it’s worth noting that Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon) has recently acquired the rights from Tigon to remake this film. Nothing has gone into production yet, but we’re interested to see how a director with such a vision as Refn would spin this torturous tale.
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