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The Sorcerers

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Boris Karloff is at his mesmerizing best in this hypnotic chiller costarring Catherine Lacey (The Lady Vanishes) and directed by Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General). A disgraced hypnotist, Professor Marcus Monserret (Karloff) is about to have the last laugh. Inventing a machine that can control the minds of others, he lures Mike Roscoe (Ian Ogilvy) to his dingy flat to take part in a grand experiment. Discovering he can experience Mike’s sensations as well as his actions, Monserret envisions his device as a boon to science. His maniacal wife (Lacey), however, embittered by years of poverty, soon overpowers her husband and proceeds to use Mike for her own selfish gain. The rarest of the three films directed by the gifted Reeves before his untimely passing, The Sorcerers is a unique work of genius that “rivals the brilliance and intelligence of Peeping Tom” (The Overlook Film Encyclopedia).

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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Elizabeth Ercy, Ian Ogilvy, Victor Henry, Catherine Lacey
  • Directors: Michael Reeves
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009H3LPKU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,156 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Amazzini on March 16, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Towards his final years, Horror icon Boris Karloff always said to interviewers that he would never stop acting and would die in harness which ,unfortunately, would be the case. Before that would happen, he did have the fortune of acting with two young film makers who would utilize him in the best of his final roles, Director Peter Bogdanovich's 'TARGETS'-1968 and Director Michael Reeve's 'THE SORCERERS'-1967. The 23 year old Reeves was cutting his teeth in film production and his persistence and love of film would have him complete the foreign 'CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD'- 1964 and proceed to his first feature 'THE SHE BEAST'-1965 with actress Barbara Steele. Producer Tony Tenser at Tigon Films was always looking for independent film makers looking for backing. American Producer Patrick Curtis who was married to Raquel Welch at that time had two scripts which he wanted Reeves to direct. Putting those scripts on hold , Curtis and Reeves came up with the basic plot of 'THE SORCERERS' co authored with Tom Baker and through an acquaintance, it came across Tenser's desk. Karloff was no slouch to this type of script having mind swapped decades back in Britain with Director Robert Stevenson's excellent 'THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND'-1936. Reeves had Karloff in mind for this film and they got along wonderfully . The film emerges as a chilling prospect of the older generation wishing for eternal youth which theme would eventually peak in Director Bernard McEveety's chilling masterpiece 'THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN'- 1970. It also stars Catherine Lacey in a scene stealing performance and Reeves's friend Ian Ogilvy who would appear in all three of Reeves films. You will also glimpse a 17 year old Susan George in her first feature appearance as a doomed girl friend of Ogilvy's.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on October 13, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this movie at a drive-in back in 1971 along with several other features which I don't recall. Having been a Boris Karloff fan since the age of 8, I had to see it and I remember being struck at the time by how old he looked (he was 79 then and had been dead for 2 years by the time I saw it) and by how cool it would be if you really could experience other people's sensations (the principal plot device of this film). It was only much later that I realized that THE SORCERERS was made by Michael Reeves the same man responsible for WITCHFINDER GENERAL.

Just how familiar Reeves was with Karloff's "Mad Doctor" films, I don't know (there are definite echoes of 1936's THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND), but THE SORCERERS is certainly an interesting and appropriate update on that theme. An elderly hypnotist and his wife (the "sorcerers" of the title) develop a system of advanced hypnosis that enable them to not only control a young man (Ian Ogilvy) but to feel what he feels. Things ultimately veer out of control as the embittered wife wants to experience more and more sensations including murder (a young Susan George is the victim) which leads to tragedy for everyone concerned.

The Swinging 60s setting (the film was made in 1967) is dated to be sure but fascinating nonetheless. Karloff is his usual fine self even at the age of 79 and crippled by arthritis but it is Catherine Lacey as his wife who gives a truly remarkable performance. She reportedly hated her role just as Vincent Price hated his in WITCHFINDER GENERAL yet Reeves proved himself right in the end as both performances are among their best. A truly fine example of what can be done on a meager budget with a multi-layered screenplay and a good role for Boris at the end of his career. This is the American Allied Artists release. Thanks to Warner Archive for finally making it available on Region One for the American market.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By THE BLUEMAHLER on November 8, 2013
Format: DVD
Michael Reeves’ The Sorcerers (1967), starring Boris Karloff, became a barely noticeable cult film in a cinematically innovative era. A few prominent, hip critics took note of Reeves, and, in some quarters, predictions were made that he could become a horror director of the caliber of James Whale, Tod Browning, Jacques Tourneur, or Terence Fisher.

Reeves’ had only made one previous film, the low budget The She Beast (1966) starring horror icon Barbara Steele, but it was imitative of Mario Bava‘s work and received scant notice. In contrast, The Sorcerers was stylish, quirky, and unique, although it was also low budget and barely made a profit. Still, it resulted in Reeves’ being given a larger bankroll to work with in his third film: the critical and box office hit Witchfinder General (1968) starring Vincent Price.

Reeves’ death of a drug overdose at twenty-five, shortly before the release of Witchfinder General, affected that film’s reputation. Reeves was hailed as a tragic auteur in the James Dean mold. Since then, Witchfinder General has long been lauded as one of Price’s finest films. Its was considerably helped by the actor/star himself, who listed it as one of his two personal favorites, along with Theater of Blood (1973). Having a historical subject, Witchfinder General defies its period, is highly esteemed, frequently revived, and has been readily available throughout the video age.

In light of Witchfunder General’ s reputation, The Sorcerers was considered a lesser, obscure effort, partly because it seemed more dated and did not have a vital star to promote it (Karloff died a mere week before Reeves). Nor did the actor’s fans promote it.
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