American salesman Jack Robinson falls in love with Englishwoman Cynthia Marley and they visit her family so he can ask for permission to marry her. She points out to him that her relatives ...
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American salesman Jack Robinson falls in love with Englishwoman Cynthia Marley and they visit her family so he can ask for permission to marry her. She points out to him that her relatives are rather eccentric and, by the way, a cousin has just died. The remaining members of the clan are; the sinister Reginal; Percival, an inventor who has recently discovered electricity, the phonograph, and several other handy items; Natalia, a macabre, vampire-like creature; Cornwallis, a hammy and dapper ex-actor; Grandfather, who lies bedridden upstairs; and, by the way, Muldoon, who is kept locked up in the fear that he will harm someone. Several attempts are made on his life which leads Jack to believe that the Marleys are a shade past eccentric. He becomes convinced that he is just in the way of one of the Marley's attempts to do away with the other Marleys, especially, during his investigation of the vanishing Marleys, when he learns that the family fortune consists of one million dollars and ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The temptation to dismiss this horror comedy is strong, but itspedigree is impossible to ignore.
This film, almost impossible to find today, has received a bad rap since its day of release, and maybe before, since the distributors put it on the bottom of a double bill with Lon Chaney's "Witchcraft." The temptation to dismiss this film is strong, but its pedigree is impossible to ignore. Genre master Terence Fisher is at the helm, during his unofficial banishment from Hammer Films; Ray Russell wrote the script; and the cast includes Valentine Dyall from "Horror Hotel"/"City of the Dead", Andree Melly, one of the "Brides of Dracula" and British stalwart Dennis Price, just beginning his flirtation with the horror genre.
So what went wrong?
The film's greatest offense is undoubtedly that it was made in black & white during the era when movies were going all-color in a big way. It's co-feature likewise; and that was a film that everyone liked and it still slipped into obscurity.
The casting of Pat Boone has stuck in the craws of many horror fans but, truthfully, he's as palatable as Tom Poston is in "Zotz" and 1963's "The Old Dark House". And Boone's boyish screen persona is just right for the kind of hapless hero he plays here. He does sing a totally unnecessary song, however.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this film is its similarity to two other films made about the same time: Hammer's "The Old Dark House", made the same year, and "What A Carve Up" (AKA "There's No Place Like Homicide") from 1962. The plot similarities, especially with the Hammer film, are so strong that it's a wonder how the persons concerned avoided lawsuits.
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