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BLOODY HELL: BRITISH HORROR
BAMcinématek
March 1 through April 6

BAM begins this month’s Brit horror series with two of Michael Reeves’s three finished films, The Sorcerers (1967) and Witchfinder General (1968). Possibly the most overrated figure in British genre film, Reeves is revered more for his lost potential than for what he managed to preserve on celluloid—his legend has only grown since he OD'd in 1969. But get past the crude filmmaking and rotten acting, and The Sorcerers is a potent parable on movie watching—as are the scores of VR opuses it cleverly foreshadowed. An elderly London couple (Boris Karloff and Catherine Lacey) hypnotize their way into a restless punk’s consciousness, pushing him toward homicidal mania in their quest for thrills. Witchfinder General is a grim portrait of pre-totalitarian violence, following 17th-century torturer Vincent Price on a righteous tear through Norfolk. The landscapes are evocative, and the gist misanthropic. —MICHAEL ATKINSON

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