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Thursday July 18th 2024

The Sorcerers | 1967

The Sorcerers location: Lisson Grove, Paddington
The Sorcerers location: the ‘Glory Hole’ antique shop: Lisson Grove, Marylebone

Michael Reeves made only three films before succumbing to a drugs overdose at the age of 24: the microbudget Revenge of the Blood Beast (a campy horror flick made in Italy), the awesome Witchfinder General, and between those two, The Sorcerers.

Boris Karloff (in one of his last roles) and Catherine Lacey are Marcus and Estelle Monserrat, an elderly couple anticipating virtual reality with a hypnotic device (apparently operating on the same Sixties disco light-show principle as the Ipcress device). Ian Ogilvy is Mike Roscoe, the hip, young antique dealer through whom they experience the vicarious pleasures of biking, stealing and, um, serial killing.

There’s nothing to see now at 121 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, but this was the site of legendary Sixties club Blaises (named after cartoon character Modesty Blaise, incarnated by Monica Vitti in Joseph Losey’s leaden fantasy). The basement venue, which hosted performances from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, is Roscoe’s hangout.

The Dolphin Square complex in Pimlico houses the swimming pool to which Roscoe is sent for a midnight dip by the creepy oldsters.

‘The Glory Hole’, Roscoe’s antique shop, is now Bent Ply, 95 Lisson Grove, at Broadley Street, Marylebone. Now specialising in ultra-stylish 20th Century furniture and lighting, the shop is still astonishingly unchanged amid the wholesale renovation of the district.