DIARY OF A MADMAN (1963) movie review

Diary of a Madman (1963) d. Le Borg, Reginald (USA)

Vincent Price takes a brief respite in his parade of Roger Corman-directed Edgar Allan Poe adaptations to strut his stuff as a French attorney advised to take up sculpting to relieve his tension. He begins to come under attacks from the “Horla,” a disembodied malevolent parasitic force that renders its human host helpless, forcing him to perform unspeakable acts of violence and immorality.

As Price begins his art therapy (turns out the Horla was also responsible for his last client’s murders and suicide), he falls for beautiful – and married – model Nancy Kovack, who decides to leave her pauper husband for greener pastures. But the Horla has other plans.

While Diary benefits immeasurably from Price’s and Kovack’s presence, as well as some truly unexpected shock moments (naked flesh beneath a clay bust, violent stabbings), it also overstays its welcome by at least 10 minutes. Additionally , the "green glowing eyes" gambit as the Horla takes over its victim falls firmly in the “hokey but fun” category. Still, enjoyable overall. Scripted by Robert E. Kent, based on stories by Guy de Maupassant.


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