The year is 1885, and necrophiliac Dr. Hitchcock likes to drug his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her. He leaves his home shattered...
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At the end of the 19th century, in a little Italian village by a lake an old statue is recovered. Soon a series of crimes start and the superstitious people of the village believe that the ... See full summary »
A writer accepts a bet that he cannot spend the night alone in a haunted castle on All Soul's Eve. Once night falls at the castle, several who had been murdered therein return to life, ... See full summary »
In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire ... See full summary »
An attorney arrives at a castle to settle the estate of its recently deceased owner. The owner's wife and daughter reveal that he was someone who was able to summon the souls of ancient ... See full summary »
Peggy Shannon plays a young female reporter who is fired from a big city newspaper, then decides to take over a troubled small town newspaper. She encounters difficulties with small town ... See full summary »
The powerful Greek shipowner and constructor Thanos proposes to marry Phaedra during the baptism of a ship with her name. Phaedra, who is the daughter of Thanos'greatest competitor, is a ... See full summary »
A woman is gang-raped in a horse's stable, and even though the rapists are caught and imprisoned, she is harassed many moons later by ghastly visions of her tormentors, while her husband ... See full summary »
The year is 1885, and necrophiliac Dr. Hitchcock likes to drug his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her. He leaves his home shattered. Several years later he remarries and returns. Discovering that his still beloved first wife is alive but insane and prematurely aged, he plans to use the blood of his new bride to rejuvenate and heal her. Written by
Dean Harris <email@example.com>
L'ORRIBILE SEGRETO DEL DR. HICHCOCK/THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK (1962) - Italian TV Screening Review
Actually what I have on VHS (recorded off the TV) is the full-length version of the film, released in the U.K. as THE TERROR OF DR. HICHCOCK (in the U.S. it was cut by 10 mins. and retitled).
From the little I have watched of 'Euro Horror', this is definitely one of the highlights; most critics place it at the top of Freda's canon and it's easy to see why. Visually the film is stunning (even if the print I have watched has seen better days) with any number of striking images that are not easily forgotten.
Still, the film's greatest coup, perhaps, is its unabashed (but not sensationalistic) treatment of necrophilia, a theme that was pretty much taboo at the time - and probably still is! (I urge you all to read Glenn M. Erickson's excellent and highly perceptive essay on the film on the 'Images Journal' website - incidentally, you will find a whole section here devoted to Italian horror films.) In this respect, THE TERROR OF DR. HICHCOCK would make a fine companion piece to Mario Bava's LA FRUSTA E IL CORPO/THE WHIP AND THE BODY (1963), another unhinged (and extremely personal) Gothic masterwork!
The exemplary cast is headed by Barbara Steele and Robert Flemyng. Steele is pretty good in what she has to do (though never quite scaling the heights of LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO/THE MASK OF Satan ) but is overshadowed by Flemyng as Dr. Bernard Hichcock (an inspired choice for a name!) who is utterly credible in all the various facets of manic lust his character has to go through. Indeed, this doctor would not have been amiss in a Poe story and, much as I love Vincent Price in the AIP/Corman adaptations, Flemyng here emerges a far more sinister figure
without ever resorting to camp!
Finally, I wonder how this film's follow-up LO SPETTRO/THE GHOST (1963), which I have never watched, compares with the original. Hopefully both films will one day be adequately represented on DVD, possibly released as a double-feature.
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