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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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.