Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Witchfinder General

Witchfinder General was the last film directed by Michael Reeves before his death by drug overdose at the age of 26. It is a fictional story of real-life witchhunter Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price, in his most purely evil role), who travels through 17th century England finding "witches," torturing confessions out of them, and executing them (or allowing them to live in return for sexual favors).

He is accompanied by the psychopathic rapist John Stearne (Robert Russell). It is a brutal, sadistic and mysoginistic film, not exactly horror but certainly horrifying.

So you're probably thinking to yourself, "how come nobody ever wrote a disco song about it?" But in fact, somebody did, and that somebody was none other than Carl "Kung Fu Fighting" Douglas, who, judging from the subject matter of his songs, must have spent a huge portion of his time in the grindhouse cinemas.

When released in America by AIP, the title was changed to The Conqueror Worm, with passages from the Poe poem of the same title read over the opening and closing credits in order to cash in on the success of Roger Corman's Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price. Not that there's anything wrong with Poe, but it would have been so much cooler to have this song play over the credits.

Carl Douglas - Witchfinder General

The Conqueror Worm on VHS

Witchfinder General on DVD

Kung Fu Fighting: The Best of Carl Douglas


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The links deader than a witch burnt at the stake

2/16/2007 9:20 AM  
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