Freddie Francis (Tales From The Crypt, Torture Garden) apparently didn’t care much for this, his 1974 assignmentfor the Kandel and Cohen production house – even going so far as to describe it as “worse than Trog” We at Nucleus, however, disagree: Craze is a slice of prime British horror sleaze, ripe for rediscovery.
It’s got everything! It’s got Jack Palance (Dracula, Torture Garden, Hawk The Slayer) pretending to be English, exclaiming “Jeezus Christ Almighty!” and picking up dolly birds in funky psychedelic nightspots! It’s got Martin Potter (Goodbye Gemini, Satan’s Slave, Cruel Passion) as his paranoid, hard-drinking gay business partner, Julie Ege (Creatures the World Forgot, Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires) and Kathleen Byron (Twins of Evil) as ritual victims, and Michael Jayston (Thriller, Quiller, Tales that Witness Madness) Percy Herbert (The Fiend, Black Snake) and David Warbeck (The Beyond, The Black Cat) as a trio of grumpy fl atfoot coppers! It’s got Suzy Kendall (Up The Junction, Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Torso) as a curly-wigged hooker with a jaw-dropping sex-aid collection, and Trevor Howard, Diana Dors, Hugh Gri th and Edith Evans (you KNOW who they are), slumming it in late-career cameos! Not convinced? How about a homage to Peeping Tom (though we’re not telling you where, so you have to buy it) an occult coven in purple robes chanting “armuneminuum” and a series of ghastly, grisly, gory, gruesome deaths? Or, best of all, how about Chuko, the ugliest, most googly-eyed fetish idol ever seen on-screen? Seriously, this doll makes both Hammer’s Charlie Boy and the Zuni from Trilogy Of Terror look handsome by comparison. Let him into your life (even better, let this beautifully re-mastered disc into your player) and the rewards are plenty - but they don’t come cheap. As the song says, “it’s no sacrifi-i-iiiice...”
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