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Amicus: House of Horrors (2012)

Video  -  Documentary | Horror  -  30 October 2012 (USA)
7.4
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A 2-disc celebration of Amicus Films, Hammer's greatest rivals, best remembered for their series of anthology films inspired by the 1945 "Dead of Night."

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Tony Curtis ...
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Geoffrey Davies ...
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A 2-disc celebration of Amicus Films, Hammer's greatest rivals, best remembered for their series of anthology films inspired by the 1945 "Dead of Night."

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30 October 2012 (USA)  »

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2 disc celebration of Hammer's greatest rival
15 February 2013 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is a 2 disc celebration of Hammer's greatest rival, Amicus, founded by Max J. Rosenberg (the money man) and Milton Subotsky (the writer/producer). The actual documentary is essentially hosted by actor Geoffrey Bayldon, with most of the 3 hour-plus running time focusing on surviving cast and crew members, following some background information on the two producers. Best remembered for their anthology features, there is short shrift given to other genre efforts, and barely a mention of such offbeat titles as "The Deadly Bees" (1966), "Danger Route" (1967), or "The Mind of Mr. Soames" (1969). We do get to hear from such directors as Peter Duffell ("The House That Dripped Blood"), Stephen Weeks ("I, Monster"), Kevin Connor ("From Beyond the Grave"), and Paul Annett ("The Beast Must Die"), owing to the recent passing of the more prolific Freddie Francis and Roy Ward Baker. We get particularly interesting glimpses of Barbara Ewing ("Torture Garden," "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave") and Angela Pleasence, who actually worked with lookalike father Donald Pleasence in "From Beyond the Grave" (and is scared by horror films!). There are anecdotes about stars like Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, and character players such as Bernard Lee, Herbert Lom, and Patrick Magee, but only minute name dropping for Michael Gough, Nigel Green, or Anton Diffring. Uneven at best, but certainly worth a look for avid fans of Britain's Golden Age of Horror (now if only someone would do this for Tigon!). Bonus features are a 1983 on camera interview with Peter Cushing lasting 53 minutes, plus his 1990 broadcast of THE HUMAN FACTOR (25 minutes), where he discusses both his childhood and his beloved late wife Helen, who had passed away in 1971.


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