Witchfinder General is a 1968 British horror film directed by Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, and Hilary Dwyer. The screenplay was by Reeves and Tom Baker based on Ronald Bassett's novel of the same name. Made on a low budget of under 100,000, the movie was coproduced by Tigon British Film Productions and American International Pictures. The story details the heavily fictionalized murderous witch-hunting exploits of Matthew Hopkins, a 17th century English lawyer who claimed to have been appointed as a "Witch-finder Generall" by Parliament during the English Civil War to root out sorcery and witchcraft. The film was retitled The Conqueror Worm in the United States in an attempt to link it with Roger Corman's earlier series of Edgar Allan Poe-related films starring Pricealthough this movie has nothing to do with any of Poe's stories, and only briefly alludes to his poem. Director Reeves featured many scenes of intense onscreen torture and violence that were considered unusually sadistic at the time. Upon its theatrical release throughout the spring and summer of 1968, the movies gruesome content was met with disgust by several film critics in the UK, despite having been extensively censored by the British Board of Film Censors. In the U.S., the film was shown virtually intact and was a box office success, but it was almost completely ignored by reviewers. The film has gradually developed a large cult following, partially attributable to Reevess 1969 death from a drug overdose at the age of 25, only nine months after Witchfinders release. Over the years, several prominent critics have championed the film, including J. Hoberman, Danny Peary, and Derek Malcolm. In 2005, the magazine Total Film named Witchfinder General the 15th greatest horror film of all time.