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House of Madness (1973)

The Mansion of Madness (original title)
R | | Horror | March 1976 (USA)
The inmates of an insane asylum take over the institution, imprison the doctors and staff, and then put into play their own ideas of how the place should be run.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claudio Brook ...
Dr. Maillard / Raoul Fragonard (as Claude Brook)
Arthur Hansel ...
Gaston LeBlanc
Ellen Sherman ...
Eugénie
...
Julien Couvier
David Silva ...
Cult Priest
Mónica Serna ...
Blanche
Max Kerlow ...
Dr. Maillard
Susana Kamini ...
Cult Priestess
Pancho Córdova ...
Pseudo-Marshal (as Francisco Córdova)
Roberto Dumont
Henry West
Jorge Bekris ...
Henri, the Coachman
René Alís
Mario Castillón Bracho
Oscar Saro
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Storyline

A mysterious man is sent deep into the forest to investigate the bizarre behavior of the notorious Dr. Tarr. What he stumbles upon is the doctor's torture dungeon, a hellish asylum completely cut off from civilization and presided over by the ultimate madman. Innocent people have been savagely chained, tortured and stuck in glass cages, then forced to take part in gruesome games of ritual slaughter. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Newest Edgar Allan Poe Horror Thriller! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

March 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe: Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Klangfilm)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being a Mexican production and having a mostly Mexican cast and crew, this movie was filmed in English, then dubbed into Spanish for Mexican cinemas. The version released in USA, retitled "Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon", is actually the original version (not a dub), but in a cut form. See more »

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User Reviews

 
South-Of-The-Border Poe
28 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It was the grisly demon-possession flick "Alucarda" (1978) that first made me aware of the talents of the late, underrated Mexican director Juan L. Moctezuma. Anxious to see more, I popped in the DVD for Moctezuma's first film, 1973's "The Mansion of Madness" (also, fortunately, on the Mondo Macabro label), and was pleased to discover that it is another winner, although much less disturbing and intense a horror outing than "Alucarda." The film nicely captures and expands Edgar Allan Poe's 1845 short story "The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether" (one of many that Roger Corman never got around to adapting!), and shows what can happen when the inmates of a madhouse literally take over the asylum. In the film, we make the acquaintance of a young man named Gaston Leblanc who has recently graduated from journalism school in 19th century America, and played by hunky dude Arthur Hansel (who looks a good 20 years too old for the part). Leblanc returns to his French homeland to do a story on a mental institution run by one Dr. Maillard (Claudio Brook, the doctor turned demon slayer in "Alucarda"), whose innovative "soothing system" of letting his inmates run free has been causing quite a stir in medical circles. But shocking surprises await Leblanc as he enters the titular "mansion of madness"....

This film, I should say, starts out very strangely, and Maillard's initial tour of his institution may cause some viewers to shake their heads in bewilderment. My advice would be to stick with it, though, as several plot twists serve to both clarify matters and ratchet up the suspense. Novice film director Moctezuma gives the viewer something interesting to look at in virtually every shot, especially toward the picture's conclusion. That banquet sequence is a literal phantasmagoria of oddball characters doing unusual things, the frame filled with hyperkinetic wonder. Kudos also to cinematographer Rafael Corkidi, especially for his stunning work outdoors. A welcome addition to the Poe story here: a romantic subplot of sorts featuring an inmate named Eugenie, played by beautiful Ellen Sherman. And speaking of "beautiful," Susana Kamini, who played the gorgeous Justine in "Alucarda," can be seen in this film as well. Look sharp: There she is, playing the topless inmate on the receiving end of that fishing pole! Opening with a pensive voice-over amongst lovely country scenery and concluding with a seeming homage to--of all people--"Little Caesar"'s Rico Bandello, the picture is a fascinating experience from beginning to end. Thanks again, you Mondo Macabro maniacs!


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