Home » Horror movies » Mr. Sardonicus

Mr. Sardonicus

Mr. Sardonicus (1961) starring Guy Rolfe, Ronald Lewis, Oskar Homolka, Audrey Dalton by William Castle

Synopsis of Mr. Sardonicus

In Mr. Sardonicus, Sir Robert Cargrave is an eminent surgeon who has developed a new technique for muscle relaxation. He is summoned by his one-time love, Maude, who is now married to Baron Sardonicus. When he arrives, he finds villagers who live in fear. The Baron is a strange man, not the least because he covers his face with a mask. Eventually, he tells Sir Robert the story of how he acquired his current affliction.  His face is frozen and hideously disfigured. Despite Sir Robert’s best efforts, he can’t return the face to normal. The Baron, however, forces him to keep trying, threatening to harm Maude if he refuses. …

Editorial review of Mr. Sardonicus courtesy of Amazon.com

Mr. Sardonicus (1961) starring Guy Rolfe, Ronald Lewis, Oskar Homolka, Audrey Dalton by William CastleWilliam Castle‘s tribute to the gothic horrors of the 1930s is a ghoulish spin on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by way of Eyes Without a Face. The mysterious Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe) lives in a lonely Central European castle, hiding his face behind a mask and his sadism behind aristocratic manners. Neither remains hidden for long as he pressures a London doctor (Ronald Lewis) into working miracles on his hideously disfigured face. Oskar Homolka steals the film as the Baron’s loyal, long-suffering servant Krull, who wields surgical knives and slimy leeches in his reign of torture. Castle, less a stylist than a showman, has little feeling for mood but knows how to stage a shock and spring a gimmick, and this film features a doozy: the audience-participation “Punishment Poll,” hosted by Castle himself in a clever (if improbable) break before the film’s satisfyingly devious finale. –Sean Axmaker