Saturday, November 19, 2011

THE SORCERERS - Toni Daly with Lee Grant and the Capitols - "Sweet, Sweet Everything" (1967)

"The Sorcerors" - What a great movie!! "The Sorcerers" is the epitome of rock n' roll in a horror film, circa 1967, and why wouldn't it be? It's directed, co-written, and co-produced by Michael Reeves, who was just 23 years old at the time! Michael directed "She Beast" before this, and "Witchfinder General" after, but would die before ever getting to do his next scheduled project, "The Oblong Box!" Demon alcohol and anti-depression medicine did the trick!

First off, "The Sorcerers" would be the second or third to the last real movie that the master Boris Karloff would be in, depending on who you talk to, and as you can see in this portrait of the man, he still looked great!!

Ian Ogilvy is the struggling artiste Mike Roscoe! Ian had a nice career going up til just a couple of years ago! He also co-starred in the other two Michael Reeves' flicks "She Beast" and "Witchfinder General!"

Boris is a kind-hearted hypnotist named Prof. Marcus Monserrat, and he needs a recruit for some mental testing he's been working on, so when he stumbles upon a bored Mike alone in a cafe, he offers him a chance to get a real high with no hangover!

So Mike goes home with the Professor, and allows him to hook him up to some headphones in a special room he has created!

SO after tweaking and twiddling a bunch of buttons and controllers on oscilloscopes combined with weird taped sounds and screeches that sound like a lot of DIY cassettes I heard in the 80's, let nirvana begin! Well, Mike didn't quite get what he bargained for, instead, now the Professor and his crazy wife are in charge of Mike's thought's and can pretty much make him do anything they want

The Club is the centerpoint of all the happenings for this gang! Mike had ditched his best friend Alan, played by Victor Henry, and his best girl Elizabeth Ercy as Nicole, at the club when he had gone out to the place where he ended up meeting the Professor, and now he's back and seems normal enough!

Mike (now being controlled by the Professor and his wife) talks Nicole into sneaking into this private place to go swimming with him!

All the sensations are then channeled back to the old folks, and they embrace all the feelings they haven't felt in years! Up to this point it's all quite harmless and rather charming, but just you wait! The film never does pursue the sex angle, that might just be a little too weird!!

The next night, Mike is supposed to take Nicole back to The Club, but after he shows up to pick her up, he suddenly disappears, so she goes by herself and meets up with Alan again who is starting to think he has a chance!!

The music is rockin' every time they go to The Club, and is provided by a group called Lee Grant and the Capitols, with a gal named Toni Daly providing the vocals! Toni's real name was Marie Antoinette Daly, and starting at the age of 13, she released a half dozen singles in the UK as Antoinette! Antoinette never had a smash hit, but to this day she is still quite popular with fans of 60's UK Pop! These days she still performs as a jazz singer using her married name, Toni Baxter!

So where did Mike go? Well it just so happens that Estelle had spotted a fur coat in a store window that she fancied, and despite the Professor's pleas, he finally gives in, and allows them to control Mike just once to break in and steal it for her!! What have they got to lose if he gets caught?

The Professor had always planned on using this power he'd been working on for years to help humanity in some way or another, but his not so kindly wife Estelle has other plans! She's ready for some of the finer things in life, and is not willing to be satisfied with just a fur coat! This bitch has got needs a plenty!! Estelle was played by Catherine Lacey, who had a career that went back all the way to 1938 and her role as a nun in Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes!"

Estelle and the Professor make Mike borrow Alan's motorcycle without asking, and then he takes Nicole on a high speed ride that raises all four of their adrenaline levels to the max!

When Mike and Nicole get back, Alan is pissed, so Mike, now mainly under Estelle's control, beats the living crap out of his friend Alan, and also hits his mechanic buddy in the head with a tire iron as Nicole watches on in terror, and wondering what in the Hell has happened to Mike?

After that little stunt, the Professor tells Estelle that's the end of it, so she kicks the cane right out of her loving husband's hand and he crumples up on the floor in a pile of flesh and bones!

To fully guarantee that the Professor doesn't try and reverse the spell, the now completely freakin' insane Estelle destroys the sound laboratory in a fit of violence!

Mike seeks solace in the arms of an old girlfriend, babydoll Susan George, in one of her first films! Still kickin' today, Susan forged a nice career in movies like "Straw Dogs," "Computercide," "Venom," and "The House Where Evil Dwells!"

Estelle is taking it out on everbody now, so you can just imagine what happens to Susan when Estelle directs Mike to pick up a pair of scissors!

The Professor is now completely helpless, and he can't even get up for what seems like days!

Back at The Club, the joint is still jumpin'! Sally Sheridan is the actress portraying singer Laura Ladd, but Toni Daly is still the one doing the actual singing!

Mike shows back up at The Club, sometimes he knows what he's doing, and sometimes he doesn't, and he has no memory of those 'doesn't times! It cracks me up to watch all the people in the background, and in most of the club scenes, the young couples are always making out like crazy!

Nicole and Alan are also back at The Club, and are still trying to figure out what in the Hell is wrong with Mike! If I was Alan, and Tabonga was Mike, I wouldn't be nearly this nice!! They look on in disbelief as Mike picks up on the singer in the band!

Well, let's just say that Laura's taste in men is questionable! She goes with Mike and he takes her into a dark alley, and strangles her while under Estelle's power!! Nice first date!!!

The murder is all over the front pages the next day! Here's what I don't understand, the headline says that Laura Ladd was a top twenty girl! A top 20 act playing in a small club with no cover charge, Man, life was good in 1967 Britain!

Mr. Innocence, Mike is confronted the next day by Alan and Nicole at the antique shoppe where he worked, since they saw him leave the club with Laura! Of course Mike has no memory of it, that is until Estelle takes over again, and then he gets into another big tussle with Alan before hopping into an old Rolls Royce and driving off!

The police are now on the trail and Alan flags down a squad car in hot pursuit!

There's a big chase scene and eventually the Professor regains just enough power to cause Mike to crash the car! In a short documentary about Michael Reeves, the Producer Patrick Curtis tells the story that they didn't have a lot of money or any permits, and that they just crashed the old Rolls, and ran off in nine different directions leaving it burning, knowing that the authorities wouldn't be able to catch all of them if they spread out!! Gonzo film making at it's finest!

Everything that happened to Mike also happened to the Professor and Estelle right up to The End!! Catch it if you can, and the only place I know where you might have a chance in burning Hell, is at the Web of Mystery!!! UPDATE 2017: The Web Of Mystery no longer exists but you can find "The Sorcerers" at any of these fine retailers!


Prof. Grewbeard said...

the British are so pervy sometimes.

Mr. Banane said...

hehe.. yes, but they're good!^^

Bonhomme said...

M. Karloff indeed look terrific; never saw any pic of this, only is Mexican efforts of later years.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Patrick Curtis, the producer of "The Sorcerer. I want to clear up a fact, it was an old Jaguar that we crashed not a Rolls Royce. We used a Rolls to pick up Mr. Karloff every morning and take him to work, then we'd take the trunk lid off and use it for a stable camera car for the chase scenes through London.Again, without permits. An interesting fact is that this film was produced by CURTWEL and TIGON Productions. CURTWEL was a company owned by Raquel Welch, the WEL in CURTWEL, and her husband, me, the CURT in CURTWEL. Tony Tenser and I went on to produce, HANNIE CAULDER, starring Raquel as a deadly gunslinger in this western directed by Burt Kennedy.

EEGAH!! said...

Hey Thanks Patrick for dropping by with the real scoop on that scene! It's not often we get input from people who actually had something to do with a film, much less the Producer. I still love that crash, burn, and run story! Thanks again for the fun facts!


Wow Patrick Curtis! I can't believe he wrote to u!you do have a great blog!

EEGAH!! said...

Thanx Derek! Yeah, we do have a little bit of credibility from time to time!

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