Craze (1974)

USA, UK, 1973
95m, 8594 ft
35mm, Technicolor
mono, English

An American/British horror film directed by Freddie Francis.

Plot Summary

An antiques dealer has become obsessed with the idol Chuko and presides over at his shrine built in the basement of his shop. Convinced that his recent good fortune has been thanks to Chuko, he continues to murder victims and hatches a plot to frighten a wealthy relative to death. But his alibi is going to rely on the evidence of a disgruntled former lover…


* = uncredited

Directed by: Freddie Francis
© MCMLXXIV [] Harbor Productions Inc.
A Herman Cohen production
Executive Producer: Gustave Berne
Produced by: Herman Cohen
Screenplay by: Aben Kandel and Herman Cohen
Based upon the novel “Infernal Idol” by: Henry Seymour
Director of Photography: John Wilcox
Film Editor: Henry Richardson
Music Composed and Conducted by: John Scott
Sound Mixer: Ken Ritchie
Wardrobe: Rita Wakely
Makeup: Bill Lodge
Hairdresser: Bobbie Smith
Art Director: George Provis

Jack Palance (Neal Mottram)
Diana Dors (Dolly Newman)
Julie Ege (Helena)
Edith Evans (Aunt Louise)
Hugh Griffith (solicitor)
Trevor Howard (Superintendent Bellamy)
Michael Jayston (Detective Sergeant Wall)
Suzy Kendall (Sally)
Martin Potter (Ronnie)
Percy Herbert (Detective Russet)
David Warbeck (Detective Wilson)
Kathleen Byron (Muriel Sharp)
Venecia Day (girl dancer)
Marianne Stone (barmaid)
Dean Harris (Ronnie's friend)
Christopher Banks [burial minister] *
Anita Sharp-Bolster [Mary Lonsdale] *
Frank Forsyth [Frank Trainer] *
Barry McDermott [detective] *

Alternative Titles

Il buio macchiato di rosso – Italian title
Craze – Dämon des Grauens – German title
Dämon des Grauens – German title
The Demon Master
The Infernal Idol
Locura – Spanish title
Syalenstwo – Polish title


Monthly Film Bulletin vol.41 no.485 (June 1974) p.123
“Tepid, predictable British thriller in which Jack Palance and a team of comic policemen play cat and mouse with each other through an assortment of studio sets which belong to another era of film-making. Whenever the threat of tedium presses too close, Freddie Francis (who seems to have been completely nonplussed by the banality of the assignment) opts for either a shaky zoom into Chuku the infernal idol or, preferably, a gory impalement of the kind long favoured by producer Herman Cohen. The performances, however, are uniformly good; although, ironically, it is the large cast of distinguished supporting players who manage their aggressively American dialogue with aplomb, and Palance-struggling to make more of his lines than they will permit-who is at sea.” – from a review by David McGillivray

Variety 12 June 1974 p.18
“[A] silly, lightweight horror film that may lure more than its fair share of customers by dint of an unusually strong cast for such piffle. Herman Cohen production's only distinction lies in providing Edith Evans, Hugh Griffith, Trevor Howard, Michael Jayston and several other worthy performers with their most inconsequential screen roles to date. […] Such material takes its toll on the gifted players. Hugh Griffith, as Evans' solicitor, feels obliged to belch and knit his bushy eyebrows for easy laughs, while Diana Dors endures a number of scripted insults about her weight for the sake of a five-minute bit. Freddie Francis directs this farrago with one hand firmly affixed to the zoom lens, while technical backup is satisfactory.” – from a review by Beau


CinemaTV Today no.10017 (3 February 1973) p.12 – note (‘Idol' at Bray)
CinemaTV Today no.10018 (10 February 1973) p.40 – note (Shepperton's ‘Idol')
CinemaTV Today no.10020 (24 February 1973) pp.10; 10-11 – note (Star cast for ‘Craze'); credits (In production)
CinemaTV Today no.10021 (3 March 1973) p.32 – credits (In production)
CinemaTV Today no.10022 (10 March 1973) p.11 – credits (In production)
CinemaTV Today no.10023 (17 March 1973) pp.10; 11 – note (Howard in ‘Craze); credits (In production)
CinemaTV Today
no.10024 (24 March 1973) pp.22; 23 – illustrated article (Why Cohen chose Jack Palance by Sue Clarke); credits (In production)
CinemaTV Today
no.10025 (31 March 1973) p.13 – credits (In production)
CinemaTV Today
no.10026 (7 April 1973) pp.13; 14 – credits (In production); credits (Post production)
CinemaTV Today
no.10030 (5 May 1973) p.10 – credits (Post production)
CinemaTV Today
no.10084 (25 May 1974) p.14 – review (by Marjorie Bilbow)
Flesh and Blood
no.3 (1994) pp.44-45 – credits, review
Halls of Horror
no.27 p.18 – note
The Hollywood Reporter
vol.22 no.22 (9 March 1973) p.36 – credits
The Hollywood Reporter
vol.231 no.35 (4 June 1974) pp.3, 5 – credits, review (by Alan R. Howard)
Monthly Film Bulletin
vol.41 no.485 (June 1974) p.123 – credits, synopsis, review (by David McGillivray)
TV Times
28 June-4 July 1986 p.37 – review
12 June 1974 p.18 – credits, review (by Beau)

English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby p.218 – review
The Horror Film Handbook by Alan Frank – credits, review
Ten Years of Terror pp.209-210 – credits, review (by Harvey Fenton)
Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) pp.13-15 – illustrated review (by Darrell Buxton)