Craze; Infernal idol, The; Demon Master, The

2636. CRAZE (The Infernal Idol) (The Demon Master) (1973-England). With JACK PALANCE, DIANA DORS, EDITH EVANS, HUGH GRIFFITH, TREVOR HOWARD, SUZY KENDALL. Jack Palance devours the screen with his performance in this jarring and spine-tingling horror thriller. He plays Neal Mottram, an ever-so-slightly crazed London-based antique dealer with an unusual after-hours avocation. Mottram is a devil worshipper who leads his followers in strange chanting that culminates in human sacrifices. As the film opens, he is heading just such an exercise in terror. As he chants, a young woman removes her clothes. Naked, she begins frenetically dancing. Her movements are directed to an African statue. In an instant, her stomach is slashed and she promptly bleeds to death. Afterwards, Mottram intones to the statue, “I pray the bloodletting pleased you.” Mottram feels he is under the protection of the idol, and so he will not be held accountable for any of his murderous acts. He also dominates his young assistant (who, as you will see, is destined to play an important role as the story develops). A hand-picked cast of some of England’s top actors will be found insupporting roles. Edith Evans is on hand ever-so briefly as Mottram’s ill-fated Aunt Louise. Trevor Howard plays a policeman, while Hugh Griffith is seen as a solicitor. Finally, a quite plump Diana Dors is perfectly cast as a woman who serves as Mottram’s alibi in a cleverly devised murder scheme. 96 minutes. Horror