Vincent Price returns here to Witchfinder General territory as the sadistic magistrate Lord Edward Whitman who is obsessed with tracking down and punishing those who practice witchcraft in Elizabethan England.
His lordship doesn’t really believe in witches but frequently abuses his position of power to falsely accuse pretty young peasant women of witchery and have them beaten, stripped, humiliated and raped for his entertainment.
Lord Whitman then actually stumbles upon a real coven of witches, led by the powerful but mostly peaceful Oona (Elisabeth Bergner).
After subjecting them to his usual torment and degradation, Whitman has all the witches killed apart from Oona herself.
Oona retaliates by summoning the titular banshee to work its way through Whitman’s family, killing off all his odious relatives until only he remains.
The banshee manifests itself in the guise of a handsome young man named Roderick (Patrick Mower), who manoeuvres his way into the Whitman household and makes the family pay with their lives for the terror they have brought upon so many innocent people.
The costumes, set and scenery are outstanding and there’s a great deal of gratuitous nudity and graphic violence. The title sequence was designed and animated by Monty Python member Terry Gilliam.
Lord Edward Whitman
Lady Patricia Whitman
Hilary Heath (as Hilary Dwyer)