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Shuttered Room, The

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1967; vt Blood Island). Warner Brothers/Seven-Arts Productions, Ltd. (US),Warner-Pathe' (UK). Produced by Phillip Hazelton. Directed by David Greene. Written by D B Ledrov and Nathaniel Tanchuck based on the title story by August Derleth and H P Lovecraft in The Shuttered Room and Other Pieces (coll 1959). Costumes designed by Caroline Mott. Cast includes Carol Lynley, Oliver Reed, Flora Robson and Gig Young. 99 minutes. Colour.

Newly-married Susannah Whateley Kelton (Lynley), though raised in an orphanage, learns that her parents have only died recently in reality and that she has inherited their property on an Island. Along with her husband Mike (Young), they travel to Dunwich island off the coast of Massachusetts. They are not received warmly by the local population, save for Susannah's Aunt Agatha (Robson). Agatha warns them to leave immediately and forget Dunwich; Susannah refuses. The old family mill, which has a shuttered room in its attic, attracts her attention; plans are made to remodel it despite Susannah's vague memories from her pre-orphanage childhood of something frightening there. Meanwhile she has attracted the attention of Ethan (Reed), a cousin with fairly obvious sexual designs on her. She and Mike are soon harassed by Ethan and his gang of thugs as a series of strange murders begins to plague the community. Eventually the killings are linked to a Monster in the attic room, the Mutant result of a union between one of Susannah's ancestors and a monstrous amphibious Alien. The creature apparently dies, along with Ethan, when the mill is consumed by flame at the climax.

This Horror in SF film was among the first of Lovecraft's stories to be adapted as a feature film in the 1960s when his fiction began to attract a worldwide following. While set in the US, it was actually filmed in England. [GSt]


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