Cauldron of Blood (1971) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Edward Mann, Santos Alcocer
Producers: Donald Havens, Edward Mann, Gilbert Simmons, Robert D. Weinbach
Writers: John Nelson, Jose Luis Bayonas
Date Released: August 1, 1971
Jean-Pierre Aumont as Claude Marchand
Boris Karloff as Franz Badulescu
Viveca Lindfors as Tania Badulescu
Rosenda Monteros as Valerie
Milo Quesada as Shanghai
Dyanik Zurakowska as Elga
Rubén Rojo as Pablo
Jacqui Speed as Pilar
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a blind sculptor who was being controlled by his estranged wife into creating a masterpiece from skeletons. The skeletons were coming from freshly killed victims whose bodies were boiled in acid. An art enthusiast and photographer wanted to interview him to clear his name from the rumors. But as they dig deep into the strange relationship of the wife and husband, more secrets unveil. It is up to the photographer to discover the truth before his loved one becomes the next victim.
There were several deaths in this movie but none of them had a drop of blood. The closest thing to gore was the nightmare scene showing a melting skull, and the melted arm of the wife. The blind man’s eyes were featured, as well as the bones and skeletons, but they were not scary enough.
The Grave Review
Contrary to the title, there was no blood in this movie at all. The cauldron or the boiling pit had flesh-melting acid in it.
The interesting mix of characters should have been good but it was not. Instead, Boris Karloff as the blind sculptor had been the saving grace of this movie, although he did not make that much acting due to his role being disabled. Viveca Lindfors also did great as a female villain.
There were several problematic elements in this movie. The camerawork, editing, transitions, and the background music were annoying. It made the entire movie confusing because of the sudden jumps in scenes and changes in musical score.
There were also a lot of confusing and unexplained scenes such as Tania’s nightmare sequence, Pilar’s chase scene in the woods, the whipping abuse scene, and a whole lot more that were placed in between.
Some aspects of the movie were only said in passing but was never explained. This includes the revelation that Tania crippled her husband, or that they were originally robbing graveyards of skeletons for the artwork.
With all that was happening, it became a bit dragging. The turning point in the entire duration of the movie happened when they became suspicious of Elga’s disappearance. From there, the tension escalated and only the last 10 minutes of the movie was action-packed.
Though it was action-packed, the sequences were kind of silly. There was the never-ending fist fight between the two men and the dragging scene where Tania was trying to confuse her blind husband using sounds. After a short struggle near the so-called cauldron, Tania’s hand slipped into the acid, her hand turned into bones, and she died instantly. Then the weirdest thing happened because the blind sculptor jumped into the cliff and that was the abrupt ending.
Overall, this movie is still recommended for those who are into classic artsy horror themes.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Cauldron of Blood (1971) one grave out of five graves.
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