I find it surprising that Diary of a Madman (1963) isn’t an American International Pictures film, the style is very similar, but it does star Vincent Price. This film is based on Guy de Maupassant’s short stories Le Horla and Un fou. It was also advertised as “The most terrifying motion picture ever created!” I’ve not read either story, so I couldn’t tell you if it got lost in translation or not.

Diary of a MadmanIt’s one of those movies that starts with the ending, at a funeral, and then we get to learn what happened to Magistrate Simon Cordier through the reading of his diary. As the events unwind, I wonder when the terrifying is going to start. The brief, but effective “stabby-stabbby” scene is super dramatic and intense. I love Odette’s reaction to being stabbed, it’s quite amazing.

The effects are minimal, too. When the “horla” possesses Cordier, a strange cyan stripe of light covers his eyes. The camp/cheese level is barely existent; I expect it to be high when Vincent Price is involved. I wish everything would’ve been more than it what they gave me because Diary of a Madman could’ve been great.

3 Stars

While Diary of a Madman isn’t the most terrifying motion picture ever created, it is freaky and weird, and I give it 3 out of 5 Stars.

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