The Dunwich Horror (1970) from Tuna

The Dunwich Horror (1970) is a tale of the supernatural, and those on earth who want to let the demons loose.
Based on a H.P. Lovecraft story, it is an OK genre piece, except for a lot of psychedelic lighting effects here and there which seem out of place with the color palette and mood of the film, and a very cheesy ending. Sandra Dee stars as the young virgin who is to be Satan's bride opposite Dean Stockwell.  


Dee sort of shows the side of her breast. Joanne Moore Jordan, as Stockwell's mother, has an upskirt in a mental hospital, and there are several artistically lit unknowns playing dream demons.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no major features

Scoop's comments in yellow:

Howard Philips Lovecraft of Providence Rhode Island, a timid, obscure man who died young, was one of my favorite writers when I was in my teens. I even found myself lapsing into his prose style at inappropriate times.

"West of Arkham the hills rise sharply in an unearthly geometry, and the streams debouch from sullen forests of gnarled trees never despoiled by a human axe."

And those were my comments on fire safety! Or not.

Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn't get it with H.P., and no movie ever seems to have captured the fear inherent in the lurking evil just beyond our dimension, waiting for us somewhere in the dense New England forests, hoping we will slip up and do the things necessary for them to gain re-admission to our plane of existence. 

Oh, Hollywood may mention the Necronomicon and Miskatonic University with a modicum of deference, but it's just perfunctory. They don't really understand how to convert the gothic prose from the pulp magazine of the 1920s and 1930s into something that can scare us today.

Every attempt at Lovecraft's stories except Re-Animator and Dagon has resulted in a soporific cheese sandwich, and The Dunwich Horror is no exception. The real problems with the movie are (1) it is boring instead of frightening (2) the ending is ludicrous

The Critics Vote

  • Leonard Maltin 2.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.5 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C- (Tuna) to D (Scoop). Genre fans may be entertained, but there is not much of importance here.

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