It! (1966) reviews and overview

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It! is a 1966 [released 1967] British/American horror feature film made by Seven Arts Productions and Gold Star Productions that features the Golem of Prague as its main subject. Also released as ItAnger of the Golem and Curse of the Golem

It! was directed by Herbert J. Leder (The Frozen Dead) and stars Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes; The Legend of Hell House; Embryo), Jill Haworth (Tower of Evil; The Mutations) and Paul Maxwell (How to Make a Monster; Aliens). It! was Ian McCulloch’s debut film – he later starred in Zombie Flesh Eaters and a slew of Italian horror films.

It! title shot
After one of their storehouses burnt down, museum director Grove and his assistant Pimm (McDowall) find everything destroyed – only one statue withstood the fire mysteriously undamaged.

Suddenly, Grove is discovered lying dead on the ground – killed by the statue? Pimm finds out that the cursed statue has been created by Rabbi Loew in the 16th century and will withstand every human attempt to destroy it. He decides to use it to his own advantage…

Director Herbert J. Leder apparently wanted the film to have the style of the Hammer horror films that were popular. He directed the camera work and audio effects to have the characteristics of a Hammer film. Although it was shot in colour, U.S. theatrical release prints were in black-and-white.

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“This colorful, whacked out version of the classic tale of the Golem is really fun and finely acted. Sure, it seems a little slow and outdated, but that just makes it all the more charming. It’s a classy little horror show…” Brutal as Hell

“McDowall is so over the top, the characters so odd and the plot so loopy that it’s actually fun to watch, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a good bad movie.” DVD Verdict

“Some amusing touches to kiddie-orientated plot which progressively becomes more ridiculous to thoroughly ludicrous conclusion.” Castle of Frankenstein

It 5
“With echoes of dozens of other films, It stands on its own as a delightfully dark, tongue-in-cheek horror film that’s riddled with low budget nonsense, over-the-top hammy performances, and enough cheese to feed a third world country for decades.” Dread Central

it golem
“With obvious references to Psycho (1960) and to Wegener’s German classic, Der Golem: Wie Er in Die Welt Kam (1920), and with infantile hero, the movie offers a confused mixture of horror and comedy, succeeding in doing justice to neither tendency. Production values and cinematography are acceptable though erratic, especially in scenes requiring special effects but the animation of the scraggy creature is well done.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror



Cast and characters:

Roddy McDowall … Arthur Pimm (as Roddy MacDowall)
Jill Haworth … Ellen Grove
Paul Maxwell … Jim Perkins
Aubrey Richards … Prof. Weal
Ernest Clark … Harold Grove
Oliver Johnston … Curator Trimingham
Noel Trevarthen … Insp. White
Ian McCulloch … Detective Wayne
Richard Goolden … The Old Rabbi
Dorothy Frere … Miss Swanson
Tom Chatto … Young Captain
Steve Kirby … Ellis–Electrician
Russell Napier … Boss
Frank Sieman … Museum Workman
Brian Haines … Joe Hill–Museum Guard

Filming locations:

Barnes, London, England
Hammersmith Bridge, Hammersmith, London, England (Pimm orders the Golem to destroy the bridge)
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth, London, England (museum exterior)
Kennington, London, England
Merton Park Studios, Merton, London, England

Filming dates:

Production began on 7th June 1966.

Technical details:

96 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Mono (Westrex Recording System)

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One Comment on “It! (1966) reviews and overview”

  1. Got to love a film where instead of distracting the Golem and sending in a team to rescue the girl, they got straight to the atom bomb! Such a wonderful and bizarre combo of Der Golem and Psycho.

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