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Crucible of Horror (The Corpse) 1970

If you've been thinking to yourself, "I wish Diabolique had more incest, more dream-like acid montages, and more campiness" then I've found the movie your'e looking for: Crucible of Horror. NOT to be confused with Crucible of Terror - of course.

The short version

A terrible man (played by Michael Gough) does terrible things to his wife and daughter. They reach their breaking point and conspire to murder him. Turns out, he's not so easy to murder.

On the surface - this movie seems like a cheap rip-off of better movies; a simple, throw away flick that is rightfully forgotten. But then again, it may be dismissive to simply call this movie a piece of poorly made crap.

One could read this movie as a shitty version of Diabolique: a conspiratory mind-fuck in which an enemy appears to become a friend but is really setting you up to be killed yourself. When Gough appears at the end of the movie, alive and well, his son seemingly unaware of all the previous dealings, you're left to wonder if perhaps his son was in on the whole damn thing from the beginning. The message here? Trust no one.

Perhaps it's really a Tales From the Crypt type story: they really did kill him but, he's such an angry, horrible man that he comes back from the dead to continue tormenting his wife and daughter. The message here? The evil men do lives after them - or some version of that.

Or maybe the entire movie has been a fantasy: a desperate shared dream of getting revenge on your tormentor. Perhaps it's even the inspiration for American Psycho. The message here? Patrick Bateman was right;
"There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis; my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing."
Maybe it's more like Lost: these folks are all dead and they're in some sort of purgatory - or even just Hell - where anything can appear to happen but nothing actually changes. The message here? The afterlife ain't much better than this life.

The message here? Anyone can read anything into any movie, given the opportunity.

No trailer for this gem but, you can watch the entire movie right here.


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