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John Bryans as A.J. Stoker
John Bennett as Supt. Holloway
John Malcolm as Sgt. Martin
“Method Of Murder” Segment
Denholm Elliott as Charles Hillyer
Joanna Dunham as Alice Hillyer
Robert Lang as Dr. Andrews
Tom Adams as Richard/Dominic
Peter Cushing as Philip Grayson
Joss Ackland as Neville Rogers
Wolfe Morris as Waxworks Proprietor
"Sweets to the Sweet"
Christopher Lee as John Reid
Chloe Franks as Jane Reid
Nyree Dawn Porter as Ann Norton
Jon Pertwee as Paul Henderson
Ingrid Pitt as Carla Lynde
Geoffrey Bayldon as Theo von Hartmann
Interview with producer Max J Rosenberg
English and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 101 Minutes
This film was originally released in 1970. It now makes its DVD debut.
When a famous horror actor mysteriously disappears in the English country, a special investigator arrives on the scene. Talking to the local police, he discovers that the house the actor was living in has a long history of its renters coming to horrible fates. Thus unfolds four tales of horror.
The first renter is a horror author who comes to the country with his wife to overcome writers block. He creates a new villain for his stories and soon is able to complete his new novel. However, he starts to see his horrible character in real life. Is it his imagination or something more sinister?
The second renter is a widowed man looking to get away from civilization. However, when he visits a house of horrors in town, he sees a wax dummy that resembles his dead wife. The man soon becomes enamored with the figure, as does his close friend. Little do they know there’s a darker story behind the figure.
The third renter is a man and his young daughter. The father is a taskmaster and a stern disciplinarian while his daughter is very quiet and reserved. He hires a nanny to take care of the girl. The nanny soon discovers, though, that there’s something very strange about the little girl…and deadly.
The final story tells the fate of the actor. A long time star of horror cinema, he discovers a cloak that transforms him into a real vampire. What will happen when he tells others of his newfound powers?
The House That Dripped Blood is rated PG for scary images.
As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a huge fan of horror movies. However, I’m a big Star Wars and Indiana Jones fan, so the names in the cast jumped out at me. The House That Dripped Blood stars Peter Cushing (Governor Tarkin from A New Hope), Christopher Lee (Count Dooku from Attack Of The Clones), and Denholm Elliot (Marcus Brody from Raiders Of The Lost Ark and the Last Crusade). Curious to see their early work, I was eager to dive into Blood. (Bad pun.) The film was also written by Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho.
Having just recently viewed a few modern horror flicks, I was struck by the totally different approach this film had to horror. Rather than reveling in gore, profanity, and nudity, this film is a much more classy approach to the horror genre. It relies on plot and twists and turns in the tale rather than massive amounts of blood. Showing blood and guts is the easy way to creep people out. These guys pull it off by their first rate cast and good script.
It’s quite interesting to see Christopher Lee 30 years younger. Fans only familiar with his work in Lord Of The Rings or Star Wars will be surprised to see him with black hair and in full horror mode. I also must admit that I haven’t seen Peter Cushing in much beyond Star Wars. It was cool to see him not only in a horror role but an action scene as well. (His severed head also graces the cover of the DVD.) I also hadn’t seen Denholm Elliot in much beyond Indiana Jones and Trading Places, so this was a good treat.
I liked the format of having four short stories within one film. If for some reason the story isn’t working or you don’t fall in love with the cast, it will soon enough switch to another tale that may be more to your liking. However, I must admit that the stories are not spectacular and they aren’t really groundbreaking. In the end, The House That Dripped Blood is primarily for horror fans and movie buffs.
This DVD is understandably lean on the extras. It only features an interview with producer Max J Rosenberg. He talks about how his company was a training ground for many young and inexperienced filmmakers. He talks a little about the music, the production costs, and more. A one on one interview is intercut with an interview that looks like it took place at a screening of the film somewhere. It’s an interesting interview, but there’s way too much footage from the movie used in it. If you’ve already seen the film, there’s no need to see it again.
The Bottom Line:
TheHouse That Dripped Blood is an interesting piece of cinema history for fans of Lee, Cushing, or Elliot. Horror fans will like to add it to their collections, but otherwise I wouldn’t call it a film mainstream audiences will flock to see.