“The Dunwich Horror” (1970)


Studio: American International
Starring: Sandra Dee, Dean Stockwell, Ed Begley Sr.
Directed by: Daniel Haller
Rated: R
Running Time: 90 min.

Synopsis: In this classic H. P. Lovecraft story, a man takes the Necronomicon and a woman to unleash an evil upon the world.


Chris Woods

A very cool creepy horror film based on a H. P. Lovecraft story. Wilbur Whateley played by Dean Stockwell, goes to a university in search for the Necronomicon. He meets up with college student Nancy, played by Sandra Dee and Professor Armitage, played Ed Begley, Sr. Wilbur tells the professor he’s a relative of the Whateley family which has a great connection with the Necronomicon. He asks to borrow the book to study it, but Armitage says no, but is interested in Wilbur’s story. The three of them along with Nancy’s friend go out to dinner. Nancy is lured into Wilbur’s strange charm and gives him a ride back to his hometown. Wilbur has a hidden agenda for Nancy and gets her to stay the night in his eerie mansion. She is then drug and slowly seduced into his world.

Meanwhile the Professor and Nancy’s friend go into the town the next day to look for Nancy. When they find her, she says that she’s all right and doesn’t want to leave right away. But the two our suspicious of Wilbur and wander around town to find out more about the Whateley family. What they find is a crazy woman locked away who gave birth to Wilbur then went mad during a ritual. Strange things begin to happen and the professor gets the help from the rest of the town to stop Wilbur on what he has planned to do.

Wilbur finally gets his hands on the Necronomicon when he steals it from the university. He plans on using Nancy as a sacrifice to unleash a group of creatures that will destroy mankind and rule the world. It’s the same ritual that was done during his birth, but this time he wants to perform the ritual right.

A great horror story and a good film. It has lots of good elements through out. The awesome atmosphere in the small town and especially the dark creepy castle where Wilbur lives and the great setting where the ritual is done. It has a classic horror film look and feel to it. Some great scenes in the film where Nancy is drugged and has these weird visions. People are chasing her through a field and grabbing her all over. The people look like a cross between naked hippies and the natives in Cannibal Holocaust. Lots of cool trippy scenes, like when Nancy’s friend is attacked by demons from the castle, colors are flashing, quick cuts of the demons then quick cuts to the girl as she screams in terror.

The whole cast is pretty good as well. Dean Stockwell is creepy in his role as Wilbur and Sandra Dee and Ed Begley play their roles very good as well. Also a great job from the old guy who plays Wilbur’s Grandfather. He plays the part well of the strange old man living in the dark old creepy castle. A fun strange scary horror tale to watch and highly recommended for any classic horror fan.