Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)

Mark Eden in Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)

The Witches of Eden

When Robert Manning's (Mark Eden) brother doesn't return home from a visit to a remote British village he decides to drive out there and to the home of Morley (Christopher Lee) where he believes his brother had been staying. On getting there he discovers Morley's niece Eve (Virginia Wetherell) and her friends throwing a swinging party as part of a celebration to do with an old legend surrounding a witch. Now Robert with the help of Eve must uncover what is going on and fight for his life in the process.

Let me get straight to the point, the appeal of "Curse of the Crimson Altar" when watched now is that it starred Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and Michael Gough. With three actors all of which who made some memorable horror movies your expectations run higher than normal and frankly they bring gravitas to the movie due to their combined portfolios of movies. And to be honest the trio of Karloff, Lee and Gough are the best thing about "Curse of the Crimson Altar" as elsewhere the acting from the likes of Mark Eden and Virginia Wetherell is solid although also forgettably ordinary.

Barbara Steele in Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)

And that is the thing about "Curse of the Crimson Altar", it is a pretty ordinary themed 60s horror movie where someone goes missing, someone goes looking for them and ends up in the middle of some strange occult practices where half naked women are sacrificed to some sort of mystical creature. And as such for some the sight of Barbara Steele in a horned head dress and covered in blue-ish body paint will be exciting as will the slightly risque nature of people clad in leader and half naked women walking around. But do you know what this side of the movie is now as typical as everything else in it and does little to excite you.

What this all boils down to is that "Curse of the Crimson Altar" probably was a hugely entertaining movie back in 1968 but now seems extremely typical due to the familiarity of the basic storyline. And in truth the main appeal now is seeing the trio of Karloff, Lee and Gough in the same movie although for some "Coronation Street" fans it will be Mark Eden who makes you smile.