Diary of a Madman (1963)

Diary of a Madman
Directed by Reginald Le Borg
Written by Robert E. Kent from a story by Guy de Mauspassant
1963/USA
Robert E. Kent Productions
First viewing/YouTube

 

Title Card: “… the vulture has eaten the pigeon; the wolf has eaten the lamb; the lion has devoured the sharp-tongued buffalo; man has killed the lion with an arrow, with spear, with gun-powder; but the *”Horla”* will make of man what man has made of the horse and of the ox; His chattel, His slave, and His food, but the mere power of His will. Woe to us!”… Guy de Maupassant

This film with its invisible Horla definitely does not live up to the hype on the poster.

Magistrate Simon Cordier (Vincent Price) is well-known for his compassion and fairness.  Unfortunately, he rejects the pleas of a prisoner, who happens to be possessed by a murderous Horla, to escape the guillotine.  The Horla leaves the prisoner’s corpse for the magistrate’s body.  The magistrate is left to be his unwilling but helpless instrument of death.

Price is always good but this horror films suffers from a distinct lack of scares.  If you were to look at it as a psychological study, which I did not, it would probably fare better.

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