The Sorcerers is a fascinating film starring the late, great, Boris Karloff as a disgraced doctor of medical hypnosis. I had never heard of this movie before, but I have to say it was quite the pleasant surprise. What made it even better was learning it was the penultimate film from a fascinating young genre director who died way too young. Michael Reeves' legacy was secured with the fantastic Vincent Price film Witchfinder General, however The Sorcerers is another fine example of genre filmmaking that is not to be sold short.
Karloff stars here as Dr. Monserrat, a once famous medical hypnotist whose career was destroyed by a scathing article many years ago. As we meet him and his wife, Estelle (Catherine Lacey), he has just finished work on a new machine. This creation will allow the doctor and his wife to take control of someone else's body and experience all the sensations experienced by the host individual. Now, all they need is someone to test their creation on.
The good doctor goes out on the town searching for lonely-looking characters. Enter Mike Roscoe (Ian Ogilvy). After a short time, Monserrat cajoles the twenty-something young man to return to his apartment. Roscoe then agrees to step into the machine and the experiment proceeds.
It is a success, the elderly couple are able to send and receive thoughts and feelings to and from Mike. It is a fascinating sensation for the elderly couple, it is a sense of freedom, the ability to feel things they have not been able to in decades.
This all sounds well and good, but everyone knows there has to be something about this experiment that goes terribly wrong. What makes this so intriguing is that it is not the experiment that fails, it is the way the results are applied by others.
Things get out of hand rather quickly. What was originally conceived of as a tool to use with the sick and elderly to experience things they never have or are no longer able to becomes a way to indulge in baser instincts without fear of consequences. It becomes a vehicle used to skirt personal responsibility and morality.