American salesman and his English fiancee visit her eccentric family who live in a remote old mansion in the countryside. The American soon realizes that someone is trying to kill everyone there to get the family fortune.
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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>
A long-unseen comedy-chiller from 1964, The Horror of It All holds the dubious distinction of being one of Hammer horror doyen Terence Fisher's most obscure movies; certainly, amongst the post-1957 filmography that contains all of his most famous and influential directorial credits, it is matched only by the dead-on-arrival, German-produced Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962) in terms of all-round pointlessness. Both films, in fact, came at the midpoint in Fisher's run as British cinema's number one 'horror man', as after his initial run of trailblazing Gothic chillers that put Hammer on the international map, he appears to have been given a forced sabbatical from the fold following the box office failure of his weak-tea take on The Phantom of the Opera (1962); this resulted in him taking several 'director for hire' type assignments over the next few years, which he eventually started to slot in around his later Hammer efforts.
The very least of a glut of horror spoofs that appeared on UK screens in the 1960s (amongst them the excellent What A Carve Up and the legendary Carry On Screaming), The Horror of It All stars American singer-actor Pat Boone as a dopey everyman who turns up at the country home of his girlfriend Erica Rogers (yes, I'm drawing a blank too) intent on proposing, only to find out that not only are her family a decidedly odd bunch, but there's likely to be a murder there before very much longer as well...
Cheaply produced by Robert L. Lippert, whose stable would also be responsible for Fisher's The Earth Dies Screaming, this impoverished- looking quickie bears just about none of the classy hallmarks found in the director's better films. Certainly not at home with comedy, Fisher struggles to get anything at all funny out of the clichéd situations and very tired gags. The music (including a brief bit of singing by Boone in the middle of the picture) is nondescript, as are most of the supporting performances. The exceptions are reliable turns by Valentine Dyall and Dennis Price as two of the crackpot relatives; former alumni of the films of Powell and Pressburger, both actors would eventually slide much further down the movie industry totem pole than this, but that doesn't change the fact they are essentially wasted here.
Though unsurprisingly unavailable on DVD or any other home format, I finally managed to view The Horror of It All after some helpful individual put it up on YouTube, apparently recorded from an obscure Spanish TV channel (thankfully subtitled rather than dubbed), so if you are enough of a fan of Fisher's to want to see this misfire, you may still find it there.
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