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House of Horrors (1946)

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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 268 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

An unsuccessful sculptor saves a madman named "The Creeper" from drowning. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, he tricks the psycho into murdering his critics.



(screenplay), (original story)
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Title: House of Horrors (1946)

House of Horrors (1946) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Complete credited cast:
Rondo Hatton ...
The Creeper
Robert Lowery ...
Steven Morrow
Virginia Grey ...
Joan Medford
Bill Goodwin ...
Police Lt. Larry Brooks
Marcel De Lange
F. Holmes Harmon
Hal Ormiston
Virginia Christine ...
Lady of the Streets
Joan Shawlee ...
Stella McNally (as Joan Fulton)


Marcel De Lange is a struggling sculptor whose work and sanity are derided by the New York art critics. After waspishly officious critic F. Holmes Harmon ruins a sale for De Lange by dismissing his expressionistic cubist work as "tripe" and later gloating about it in his column, the distraught artist goes to the river to drown himself. There he discovers the half-drowned body of the notorious serial killer, the Creeper, and takes him back to his studio to recover. Feeling empowered by the friendship of the acromegalic sociopath, De Lange tasks him with murdering the critics who have pilloried him in print. When successful commercial artist Steve Morrow is wrongly suspected of the crimes, his art critic girlfriend Joan Medford decides to follow her instinct about a mysterious bust De Lange has suspiciously covered in his studio, and she decides to snoop around. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet...The CREEPER!


Horror | Thriller






Release Date:

29 March 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder Mansion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Second of three CREEPER films for Rondo Hatton, filmed September 1945, but released March 29, 1946, following Hatton's death on February 2. See more »


During the scenes in which the Creeper's bust is sculpted, the degree of completion varies from shot to shot. See more »


The Creeper: [Looking at the spartan meal given to him by De Lange] No meat?
See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Doesn't demand much at all
27 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

One of many 60-minute B-movie horrors that Universal churned out in the 1940's, House of Horrors remains one of the most fondly remembered due to the hulking presence of Rondo Hatton. Originally a journalist and apparently a handsome man, he developed acromegaly which began to disfigure him in adulthood. He started getting extra work and bit-parts as faceless thugs until he appeared as 'The Creeper' in the Sherlock Holmes film The Pearl of Death (1944). Universal planned a series of films starring Hatton as The Creeper, but after this and it's sequel The Brute Man (1946), he sadly died of a heart attack brought on by his disease. He was far from a good actor - he does little but grunt and talk in child-like speech - but his presence is undeniable, and probably saves House of Horrors from obscurity.

Living alone in his rotting studio, sculptor Marcel De Lange (Martin Kosleck) is on the verge of selling his best work to a high-rolling collector. Unfortunately, the potential purchaser brings along notorious art critic F. Holmes Harmon (Alan Napier), who dismisses Marcel's work as a travesty, causing the sale to fall through. Penniless and on the verge of suicide, he spots a body wash ashore one night. The body is that of the Creeper, a known serial killer with the face of "the perfect Neanderthal," (as Marcel dubs him), so Marcel brings him home and nurses him back to health. Fascinating with his appearance, Marcel begins to sculpt the Creeper and exploit his blood-lust by setting him up to murder his enemies.

At just 65 minutes, House of Horrors, also known as Murder Mansion and Joan Medford is Missing, doesn't demand much at all. This is a formulaic genre picture that manages to squeeze an extraordinary amount into it's slender running time, and remains suitably entertaining throughout. Kosleck, for all his ham-fisting, manages to inject a tragic quality into his character, at first humble and optimistic, and later hateful and blood-thirsty. But it's Hando that steals the film - his Creeper snaps a woman's spine just for screaming in a scene that more than hints at rape (a big no-no in the 40's). Though there's no background or personality given to the character, that lurch-like appearance more than compensates. A forgettable genre film that is certainly worth an hour of your time.

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