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13 user 12 critic

House of the Damned (1963)

Approved | | Mystery, Thriller | March 1963 (USA)
An architect and his wife are staying in an empty castle in California. They are joined by an unhappily married lawyer and his wife. Things start getting strange when they spot a half man/... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ron Foster ... Scott Campbell
... Nancy Campbell
... Joseph Schiller
... Loy Schiller
... Mr. Quinby
Georgia Schmidt ... Priscilla Rochester
Stacey Winters ... Nurse
... The Giant
Ayllene Gibbons ... The Fat Woman
John Gilmore ... The Legless Man
Frieda Pushnik ... The Legless Girl
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Storyline

An architect and his wife are staying in an empty castle in California. They are joined by an unhappily married lawyer and his wife. Things start getting strange when they spot a half man/half beast prowling around the house and keep seeing a headless woman wandering the grounds. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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13 keys to unleash the living dead. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

March 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Castelo Maldito  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Ron Foster and Merry Anders set out on their journey to the House they are in a Chrysler, but arrive in a Plymouth. When they go to the estate agent to collect the keys the Chrysler is parked outside, but they return to the house in the Plymouth. See more »

Quotes

Scott Campbell: I'd feel better if we had a gun.
Joseph Schiller: Lawyers don't carry guns, their clients do.
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User Reviews

 
HOUSE OF THE DAMNED (Maury Dexter, 1963) **1/2
29 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

An obscure and rather uneventful but nevertheless atmospheric and effective little chiller which presents us with a new twist on "the old dark house" theme which may ultimately disappoint some viewers. I won't divulge it here for those who may feel inclined to check this one out: I'll just say that it combines elements from two well-known Tod Browning movies - FREAKS (1932) and MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) - and leave it at that!

The plot deals with an architect and his wife having to spend the night in the infamous (and supposedly uninhabited) Rochester castle, who are later joined by the former's boss and his sassy girlfriend. However, before long, things start to go bump in the night: a bunch of keys mysteriously disappear and reappear with a couple of them missing, a few doors are inexplicably forbidden to the house dwellers, the girlfriend disappears after a quarrel with her intended, etc. It all seems to point in the direction of the crazed proprietress of the mansion who is currently spending her days in a mental institution but, eventually, we discover that there are even stranger forces at work here...

As I said before, the moody lighting and occasional 'scary' set-pieces are the whole show in this one but, despite the lack of star names, the foursome acquit themselves quite adequately under the circumstances; in the latter stages of the film, Richard "Jaws" Kiel also makes an appearance as an unexpected 'guest' of the Rochester mansion.

The low-priced Fox DVD is accompanied by a theatrical trailer which should not be viewed before the main feature as it virtually shows snippets from all the film's best sequences; interestingly, the much brighter trailer enabled me to make out some details which had eluded me during the film itself!


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