A horror movie star returns to his famous role after years in a mental institution. But the character seems to be committing murders independent of his will.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Herbert Flay
...
Oliver Quayle
...
Faye Carstairs Flay
Natasha Pyne ...
Julia Wilson
Michael Parkinson ...
T.V. Interviewer
Linda Hayden ...
Elizabeth Peters
...
Gerry Blount
Ellis Dale ...
Alfred Peters
Catherine Willmer ...
Louise Peters
John Garrie ...
Inspector Harper
Ian Thompson ...
Bradshaw
Jenny Lee Wright ...
Carol Clayton
Julie Crosthwaite ...
Ellen Mason (as Julie Crosthwait)
Peter Halliday ...
Psychiatrist
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Storyline

Horror movie actor Paul Toombes, famous for playing "Dr. Death," suffers a nervous breakdown before going to England to do a TV series. Cast and crew members start dying the way characters did in Toombes' old movies. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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If Stark Terror Were Ecstasy... living here would be sheer bliss! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

November 1974 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deathday  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Cushing dresses as Dracula, an in-joke reference: he frequently played Van Helsing in Hammer's Dracula series. See more »

Goofs

Julia's dead body is breathing heavily after Paul Toombes discovers her. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Villager in Movie: Dr. Death, where are you? Let's smoke him out!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"With special participation by Boris Karloff (and) Basil Rathbone." At time of film''s release in 1974, both actors had been been dead five and seven years respectively, and their "special participation" was limited to appearance in clips from old films in which they'd appeared with Vincent Price. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Unauthorized Hagiography of Vincent Price (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

When Day Is Dawn
Performed by Vincent Price
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User Reviews

 
Not bad, but no "Targets"
29 November 2008 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Despite its star trio of 1970s horror masters--Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Robert Quarry--"Madhouse" is not so much a horror film as a murder mystery with horror trappings. Very loosely based on Angus Hall's rather trashy novel "Devilday" (in which the central character of horror movie actor "Paul Harvard Toombs" is much more sinister), it features Price in a role that was at the time not too far removed from his real life situation: a film actor who would really like to move past horror films, but who for a variety of reasons was duty bound to keep making them. Price's character suffered a breakdown after his fiancé was horribly murdered. Several years later, after he is contracted to return to his signature role of "Dr. Death" for a television series, a new rash of murders occur and even Toombs himself does not know whether he is responsible or not. Cushing appears as the writer of the "Dr. Death" show and Quarry, in an uncharacteristically amusing performance, plays the producer, a parody of Amicus Films' Milton Subotsky (Amicus and Subotsky co-produced). Adrienne Corri has a bizarre role as a crazed, burn-scarred former actress, who has taken to living in Cushing's basement and raising spiders, which doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film. Still, as a quasi-horror film, "Madhouse" is fine; it contains some great, atmospheric scenes of "Dr. Death" stalking his victims, and despite its flying in from left field, the whole Corri subplot is undeniably unnerving. As a mystery...well, it's not really very hard to figure out who is responsible for the killings. But what "Madhouse" was obviously intended to do, and what it pretty much fails at, is to provide Price with the kind of career summation picture that Peter Bogdanovich gave Boris Karloff through 1968's "Targets." Old film clips from "House of Usher," "Pit and the Pendulum," "Tales of Terror," "The Haunted Palace" and "The Raven" are interspliced to give us a look at the actor's background, but they are not presented in a way that offers any kind of resonance to Toombs/Price's career. I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Vincent Price about this film a couple years after it was made, and he was not very happy with the way it turned out. But purely on the surface level, "Madhouse" is an entertaining, grisly whodunnit that offers good roles to its three stars.


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