From the novel of the same name by Ronald Bassett
And for some reason, this was also released under the title The Conqueror Worm in its US release; that’s the name of a poem by Edgar Allen Poe that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, except that it’s about death. What a catchy title! someone was really thinking…
This is about Matthew Hopkins, who was Witchfinder General during the English Civil War under Cromwell, and notoriously abused his power for his own selfish ends. In this, he sleeps with, and his henchman rapes, the daughter of a Catholic priest whom he promises to free but then hangs; her Roundhead fiancee swears vengeance and finally everyone gets what’s coming to them.
For a low-budget British 60s horror film (not thing-coming-back-from-the-dead horror, but torture-and-execution-run-rampant horror) this is actually pretty good. Vincent Price plays Matthew Hopkins, and is rather more low-key than we expected him to be. Ian Ogilvie was handsome and dashing as the Roundhead soldier, and the story actually made sense and had a good plot.
Not a bad choice for the New Year’s Day Videofest 2015 (theme: WITCHES)