Seizure is a 1974 Canadian-American horror film directed by Oliver Stone (The Hand), who also co-wrote the screenplay with Edward Mann (Mutations, Blind Man’s Bluff, Horror Island). Filmed in 1972, released under the title Capture! announced and also known as the Queen of Evil.
In 1991, Stone commented: You have to stretch to like it. It wasn’t great. I felt then what I feel now, that I always wanted to direct, and that the horror genre is easier to get into.
Jonathan Freed (Dark Shadows), Martina Beswick (From Whisper to Scream; Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde; Prehistoric Women), Hervé Villechaize (Carnival of Blood in Malatesta), Henry Judd Baker, Troy Donahue (Shock Deadly; Chilling; Monster on Campus), Maria Crow (House of the Devil; Night of the Comet; Fat Raoul).
Over the course of a weekend, horror writer Edmund Blackstone (Jonathan Freed) sees his recurring nightmare come to a gruesome end as his friends and family are murdered one by one by three villains, led by Martina Beswick as the Evil Queen, Hervé Villechaize as the Spider and Henry Judd Baker as Jackal…..
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The handle gives the impression, not unlike the fictional Loaded (1994), of a group of actors who, under the influence of some substance, get together for a weekend in a big old house, imagine what comes into their heads and film everything that happens. Moria
The recording unfolds with its own form of nightmarish logic and feels like it has been cast in a dense fog, leaving the viewer feeling like they are drowning in illogical rhythms and surreal images. Unlike the sultry dreaminess of his strictly American models, Stone’s film is more like a cold sweat in the veins of many Eurohorror productions, particularly the films of Rollin and Bava. Oh, the horror!
Part of the problem with Alien is the opaque plot. I’m not sure what this movie is really about. …. These monsters seem to come from Blackstone’s imagination, but we don’t get any clue why they exist until the credits roll. Even then, the statement is a subterfuge. Collinsport Historical Society
There is much to love in Capture, including the surreal and avant-garde aspect of the work as a whole. There are totally different moments, and there’s even an Alice in Wonderland quality to the violence and humor of the film. But it’s half-baked and poorly executed. John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of the 1970s.
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The biggest problem with a crisis is that it’s a blow. Is it real? Is it a dream? Ambiguity to the death. Apparently Stone didn’t realize then that horror movie audiences are willing to suspend their disbelief when it comes to crazy ventriloquist dwarves and deformed executioners. Canuxploitation
The film is poorly filmed on a low budget – you can see the shadows of the camera in some scenes – but like most of Stone’s work, its excess is….. perversely enjoyable. Castle is doing well with the weird stuff, especially Freedom. Mike Mayo, A Guide to Horror Shows.
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Female characters have never been Ollie’s strong suit, and those in The Onset are no exception. The Queen of Evil is all that man can desire and fear, the majestic embodiment of all our desires and thoughts – the seductive eternal wife of our souls, she is both mother and whore. Terrible news.
It’s hard to say what to take seriously. Unexplained spirits appear out of nowhere. Crooked ends are no fun. But something about this combination of The Wolf Hour and The Last House on the left keeps you watching. David Elroy Goldweaver, Claws and Saucers.
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…A strange and sometimes rough film with radical editing techniques and the freeze frame method used in some violent scenes [… The inclusion of the cast makes the film accessible and easy to watch, even though it looks like a hallucination-inducing episode of Night Gallery. DVD player
The script seems to want to say something about the creative imagination, but what exactly that is never emerges from the indifferent mess that stands out only because of Freed’s performance. Aurum movie dictionary: Terror
Fiery, but disjointed and ultimately unsatisfying. John Elliott, Elliott’s guide to movies on video.
The actors and characters:
Jonathan Freed… Edmund BlackstoneMartina Beswick… Queen Josef Sirola… Charlie HughesChristine Pickles… Nicole BlackstoneHervé Villechaize… The Spider (as Hervé Villechaize) Anne Meacham … Eunice KahnRoger de Covene… Serge CanTroy Donahue… Mark FrostMary Voronov… Mickey Hughes-Richard Cox… GeraldTimothy Ousey Jason BlackstoneHenry Judd Baker… The Jackal (as Henry Baker) Lucy Bingham … Betsy Alexis Kirk… Arris Emil Meola… Visitor at the gas station, Timothy Rose… MilkmanOliver Stone… Anchor (voice) (without credit card)
The film was released in a limited release in the United States by Cinerama Releasing Corporation and was shown at 42nd Street in New York in 1974.
The film was released in the UK in 1976 by Marron Films Ltd. after being withdrawn by the BBFC’s censor board on 11 June 1976.
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