Based on a “posthumous collaboration” between H.P. LOVECRAFT and AUGUST DERLETH, 1967’s THE SHUTTERED ROOM gained mucho frequent frightener miles during repeated television airings in the seventies. Susannah Kelton (CAROL LYNLEY) and her husband Mike (GIG YOUNG) return to her recently inherited childhood home on Dunwich Island in hopes that the property can be used as a summer retreat. It’s clear upon their arrival that the local yokels are not too keen on city folk, as they try to ward the couple off with tales of an ancient curse and stories of a demon that’s fond of burning one’s eyes out. The native islander’s inhospitality eventually expands to include unneighborly rape attempts on young LYNLEY whenever she’s left alone. The biggest bully in the bunch is a swaggering, contorted cousin doing a swishy MARLON BRANDO impersonation named Ethan (OLIVER REED). Luckily, long in the tooth Hubby GIG is quick with cornball karate moves and is able to extinguish most of these pre-STRAW DOGS advances. The dwelling in question , which we really do not get to spend enough time in, is an ominous, genuinely spooky and sufficiently LOVECRAFT-IAN looking beast. The creaky witch lighthouse of old Aunt Agatha (FLORA ROBSON) is equally convincing in helping the U.K surroundings masquerade as New England. Unfortunately, the mostly British cast (some badly dubbed) don’t fare quite as well. DAVID GREENE‘s direction offers some disturbing P.O.V. shots of whatever is hiding in the wings ready to pounce and the unlikely jazz score works well to establish a tone of near constant disorientation. LOVECRAFT‘s vision (even his questionable posthumous vision) is notoriously hard to pull off on screen (STUART GORDON excepted). THE SHUTTERED ROOM doesn’t do much to change that theory and it’s not because all the ingredients are not in place and ready to go. Hanging out with the townies while we should be investigating the titular room is eventually wearing. By the time the shock climax is unwrapped, viewers can be forgiven if they forgot they were watching a horror film at all. Although the entire affair is begging to be streamlined (could the shorter edit BLOOD ISLAND be an improvement?), THE SHUTTERED ROOM is offbeat and strange enough that it’s reputation to unnerve is not that hard to fathom.