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Universal Horror Collection Vol 6 Main

Universal Horror Collection: Volume 6 - The Thing That Couldn’t Die Blu-ray Review

Written by Robert Gold

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory

universal horror collection volume 6 large

Directed by Will Cowan
Written by David Duncan
1958, 69 minutes, Not Rated
Released on August 25th, 2020

William Reynolds as Gordon Hawthorne
Andra Martin as Linda Madison
Jeffrey Stone as Hank Huston
Carolyn Kearney as Jessica Burns
Peggy Converse as Flavia McIntyre

Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 11 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 12


Drought conditions are making life difficult at the McIntyre ranch and its owner, Flavia McIntyre is having trouble keeping things going. Her niece Jessica walks along the property with a dowsing rod looking for water. She has a knack for finding lost things and by seeking the help of the spirits, she is a diviner. Flavia’s friends Gordon, Hank and Linda find the practice entertaining but don’t put much stock in it. The girl pinpoints a location but begs them not to dig as it is a site of pure evil. Flavia ignores her warning and sends in her ranch hands Boyd and Big Mike to dig. They uncover a medium sized chest that Flavia is convinced is full of money. She could not be more wrong.

Jessica is conflicted about using the spirits for profit and is reluctant to help Flavia further. Gordon seems to be the only sympathetic ear to her principles. He finds a talisman and gives it to Jessica for good luck and safe keeping. The chest is marked 1579 and comes with an inscription warning against opening it. The greedy ranch hands return in the night to steal the contents but find something far more dangerous inside, setting off a deadly chain of events that threatens to destroy all of their lives.

The Thing That Couldn’t Die is a briskly paced entry in the horror/western subgenre. It features a high concept premise of an ancient curse and a living severed head with mind control powers. The story is something of a dud but Carolyn Kearney (Young and Wild) turns in a decent performance as the innocent and gifted Jessica. Director Will Cowan (The Big Beat) made a bunch of short films but only one other feature and does a serviceable job here. He manages to breeze past the many shortcomings of the script and delivers the fastest wrap up of a story I’ve seen in some time.

 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 13 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 14

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