A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more ...
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A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more grotesque results! The audience gets an opportunity to vote--via the "Punishment Poll"--for the penalty Sardonicus must pay for his deeds...Written by
Baroness Maude Sardonicus (Audrey Dalton) talks with Sir Robert Cargrave (Ronald Lewis) about the culture in her adopted home of Gorslava and mentions they get magazines and stories from London. She mentions reading the works of "Mr. Conan Doyle", obviously referring to Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories. This movie is set in 1880, however the first Sherlock Holmes story (A Study in Scarlet) was not published until 1886. See more »
Sir Robert "invents" the hypodermic needle, despite its having been invented decades earlier than the film's 1880 setting. See more »
An alternate version was supplied for drive-ins. For this version, only the footage of 'William Castle (I)' was different. For the drive-in version, instead of the "Punishment Poll" cards, the audience was asked to flash their headlights to vote on the ending. The Columbia exchanges could replace the two William Castle segments to make an existing print suitable for drive-in bookings. As with the theater version, there was only one ending filmed. See more »
Many consider William Castle to be a sort of used car salesman turned film-maker. Admittedly, he relies heavily on hype, and admittedly his hype has worn a little thin over the years, but Bill Castle has been involved with some memorable movies over the years. The Tingler, Rosemary's Baby, Strait Jacket, and Mr. Sardonicus are his most entertaining ventures. No doubt, Mr. Sardonicus will seem awfully tame to younger audiences seeking shock value and graphic gore, but to those who enjoy a more old fashioned style of horror film, Sardonicus has a definite appeal. The story line is very unique, the acting is good (especially by Guy Rolfe playing the title character), and the ending is great. Rolfe is great as the kindly, respectful peasant turned nasty, unfeeling aristocrat. Sure, the special effects are a little long in the tooth, but sit a young child down in front of this movie and watch his/her reaction when Sardonicus reveals his condition. I remember being scared witless watching this as a youth. Actually, I wouldn't recommend this movie for the very young, but it's a lot of fun for the young at heart. If you enjoy 1950s horror films, check out this little-known gem.
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