The Dunwich Horror

The Dunwich Horror: Directed by Daniel Haller. With Sandra Dee, Dean Stockwell, Ed Begley, Lloyd Bochner. Wilbur Whateley travels to the Arkham Miskatonic University to borrow the legendary Necronomicon. But, little does anyone know, Whateley isn’t quite human…

I sought this out and found it on Kanopy because of the Gidget (1969) movie starring Sandra Dee, which was about a sweet and innocent teenager that was just growing into womanhood and discovering what she wanted in life. From there I found myself exploring Sandra Dee’s career on IMDB and saw that one of her final movie was an adaptation of a H.P. Lovecraft story that I was only slightly familiar with. I knew it wasn’t the type of film that Sanda Dee was really known for, about a women that was chosen to be the sacrifice to sleeping horrors from another dimension. This was an effort of hers to break out of the “young and innocent” mold that she was stuck in, one that she didn’t strictly feel she was suited much for. She’s still drop dead gorgeous, and it’s a damn shame that the industry was able to chew her up and spit her out the way it did. In the 11 years she was doing work in the movies she was able to put out over 22 movies, but still ended up broke and alone at the end.

I was pretty stoked to see that Dean Stockwell was playing the lead, it was a happy surprise, but boy what a dud this film ended up being. I’m not sure if it was a creative choice or budgetary, but the horrifying creatures that everyone is running from are never really shown and there’s just a whole lot of terrifying screaming and yelling and shooting into the wind at absolutely nothing. Sandra Dee of course was great, but I would have made different choices for nearly every aspect of the film, from the special effects, or soundtrack.

Did get to see a totally boss version of the Necronomicon though, so there’s that at least.

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