Cine-literate and single-minded, Michael Reeves took on exploitative film production companies, the British censors and even Vincent Price to create a unique vision of savage poetry and lacerating despair: Witchfinder General. He died aged 25 in 1969, between the end of Swinging London and the collapse of the British film industry - an apt candidate to represent all that could have been. This critical biography claims Reeves as the great, lost auteur of British cinema and traces his conception of film back to his childhood and formative experiences. The Sorcerers and Witchfinder General as foreshadowing and critiquing the psychedelic and revolutionary zeitgeist. Reeves' earlier work on the fringes of the freewheeling European exploitation cinema is also covered, with particular emphasis on the Revenge of the Blood Beast. here for the first time - draft scripts, correspondence and original documentation pertaining to the controversial censorship of Witchfinder, and Reeves' struggle with his own, private demons, Halligan creates a complete picture of this elusive, driven figure and his films. He speculates on what Reeves would have gone on to achieve, and why this should still matter.
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actors American International Pictures Arkoff Austen Baker Bassett BBFC Bennett Betty Blood Beast British cinema British film brutality budget camera cast Christopher Lee Compton Coquillon Corman Courtesy of Philip crew death Deke despite director Don Siegel early Euan film production film-making film's Final screenplay friends Gillian Hessler Hilary Dwyer Hopkins Hopkins's horror film Iain Sinclair Ian Ogilvy idea interview with author John Karloff King's Mead Klinger Lavenham letter London look Maslansky Matthew Hopkins Michael Reeves Mike Mike's Monserrats movie night noted Oblong Box once Paul Philip Waddilove picture Pirie Polanski psychedelic Radley realised recalls Reeves's remains remarks are taken Revenge Richard role Roscoe Roscoe's Sara Sara's scene screaming screen script seems sequence shoot shot Sorcerers Stearne subsequent remarks talk Terror for Kicks things Tigon Tony Tenser torture tracks Trevelyan Vardella village Vincent Price violence wanted witch Witchfinder young zoom