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Sunday, September 06, 2015

The House That Dripped Blood (1970) - Peter Duffell

Anthology horror movies are a great way to pack a film with a ton of horror. These omnibuses of terror are a staple in the genre and have been since the beginning. This movie caught me off guard. I did no research and had no idea what to expect. I found my self intrigued by the usual suspects. That is Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. However, I was surprised by the rest of the cast and the quality of story that each was attached. Needless to say I was very impressed.

An officer from Scotland Yard, is investigating the disappearance of an actor at a strange house. He meets an odd real estate agent that has no problem discussing the many fates of the previous tenants.

Method for Murder: Plays out a lot like The Dark Half that is until the ending. Denholm Elliot stars in this as the writer that envisions his brutal character actually killing people around him. He knows that enough is enough when his wife is viciously attacked. However, he is being played by his nefarious wife and her "lover". The house sorts it out.

Waxworks: This is a strange tale about a weird wax museum that collects some gory and macabre scenes. Peter Cushing moves to the house and ends up frequenting the wax museum. While there he becomes obsessed and enamored with a wax figure of a woman that looks like someone he is certain he knows.

Sweets to the Sweet: A widower played by Christopher Lee, hires a private teacher/nanny for his young mysterious daughter. He comes of as extremely strict and has some harsh rules that he expects the teacher to respect. He doesn't allow his daughter to behave like other children.

The Cloak: The third Doctor, John Pertwee, is an actor that has just moved into the killer house. He takes a role as a vampire in a film and purchases a strange cloak from a weird shop. His co-star (Ingrid Pitt) notices a big difference in him. 

The whole thing wraps up rather nicely. It doesn't take itself seriously but that doesn't prove to be a downfall. Some of the segments are corny but others tend to drag. The third is definitely the most terrifying.

This was a really great anthology picture. It barely shows any gore or blood and does a masterful job of telling a chilling tale. It is kind of distracting to see John Pertwee. I cannot disconnect him from his Doctor Who persona so it just kind of takes me out of it. It helps that he is more of the comedic relief here. But this movie isn't short in terror. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Denholm Elliot, John Bryans, and Tom Adams are all great. Not to mention Ingrid Pitt and Nyree Dawn Porter. 

Check this movie out if you are into classic horror. This has something for everyone. Doctor Who fans will love seeing John Pertwee, especially cast as a vampire. They break the fourth wall and make a lot of inside jokes with the audience. It is entertaining and classy. 

Director: Peter Duffell
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter CushingDenholm Elliott, and Jon Pertwee
Style: Comedic Anthology Horror
Studio: Amicus Productions
Country: United Kingdom

Did ya know...
Vincent Price was first offered the part of Paul Henderson.
Among the photographs in the frame of Paul Henderson's mirror is one of Jon Pertwee driving "Bessie," the car he drove as the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963). When Pertwee made this film, he was still playing the Doctor.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

An Angel for Satan (1966) - Camillo Mastrocinque

An evil bloodthirsty witch has taken up residence in an Italian village after haunting a creepy marble statue that had fallen into the nearby lake. This really interesting Italian horror feature has some great performances. Including one memorable role for the beautiful star Barbara Steele. 

This statue had been rescued from the lake, much to the dismay of the patrons of the village. Many believe that bringing the statue back will rustle up some evil. Eventually something bad might happen in the community. That ultimately comes true as the mysterious Harriet Montebruno (Barbara Steele) becomes bewitched by the run-down statue. Strangely, it bears a resemblance to her. Albeit a slight resemblance. Harriet then proceeds to charm and seduce various males in the public. Building a large amount of sexual tension.

Although this movie was in Italian with subtitles. It took nothing away from being alluring. It didn't need a ton of blood or gore. It relied on its superb visuals and believable performances to drive the film forward. Not to mention the eerie soundtrack. It wasn't very scary but the fact that it was shot in black and white gave it much more emotion. It really draws you in. 

If you want to develop a love for Italian horror, then you assuredly need to find and watch this. It's not over the top or preachy with its drama. It doesn't venture too far out and is not at all a "Chick Flick". This is simply a classic, Gothic horror movie that checks all of the boxes and makes for a fantastic viewing. 

Studio: Discobolo Film
Country: Italy

Did ya know...

This was the last of nine Italian horror movies starring Barbara Steele