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The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

GP | | Horror | 2 April 1971 (USA)
An anthology of four horror stories revolving around a mysterious rental house in the U.K.

Director:

Peter Duffell

Writer:

Robert Bloch

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Bennett ... Holloway (segment "Framework Story")
John Bryans John Bryans ... Stoker (segment "Framework Story")
John Malcolm John Malcolm ... Police Sergeant (segment "Framework Story")
Denholm Elliott ... Charles (segment "Method for Murder")
Joanna Dunham Joanna Dunham ... Alice (segment "Method for Murder")
Tom Adams ... Dominick (segment "Method for Murder")
Robert Lang ... Psychiatrist (segment "Method for Murder")
Peter Cushing ... Philip (segment "Waxworks")
Joss Ackland ... Rogers (segment "Waxworks")
Wolfe Morris Wolfe Morris ... Waxworks Proprietor (segment "Waxworks")
Christopher Lee ... Reid (segment "Sweets to the Sweet")
Nyree Dawn Porter ... Ann (segment "Sweets to the Sweet")
Chloe Franks ... Jane (segment "Sweets to the Sweet")
Jon Pertwee ... Paul (segment "The Cloak")
Ingrid Pitt ... Carla (segment "The Cloak")
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Storyline

A Scotland Yard investigator looks into four mysterious cases involving an unoccupied house and its tragic previous tenants: 1) A hack novelist encounters a strangler who's the villain of his books, leading his wife to question his sanity, 2) Two men are obsessed with a wax figure of a woman from their past, 3) A little girl with a stern, widowed father displays an interest in witchcraft, and 4) An arrogant horror film actor purchases a black cloak which gives him a vampire's powers. Written by Wes Clark <wclark@uspto.gov>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

TERROR waits for you in every room in The House That Dripped Blood See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Totentanz der Vampire See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Amicus Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On this movie's initial U.K. release, the British censor wanted to give it an A rating (equivalent to PG) because its lack of gore. Fearing that this would harm box-office returns, the distributors asked for it to be re-rated X or they wouldn't release it. The censor concurred. See more »

Goofs

The ax the waxworks owner uses to kill Philip Grayson binds like it is cardboard or a fake ax. See more »

Quotes

Paul Henderson: I'm Paul Henderson.
Theo von Hartmann: Who?
Paul Henderson: The great film actor.
Theo von Hartmann: I'm sorry. But I have not heard of such person.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Vault of Horror (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A slightly better than average Amicus anthology.
17 June 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Another anthology from horror studio Amicus, The House That Dripped Blood features four macabre tales written by Psycho author Robert Bloch, with a wraparound story in which Detective Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates the mysterious disappearance of a famous horror movie-star and learns of several other cases all linked to a creepy old house.

The first case is that of Charles Hillyer (Denholm Elliott), a horror novelist who moves into the house to write his next novel, Dominick the Strangler. As Hillyer gets stuck into his work, he becomes convinced that the titular character from his latest book is stalking him. It's a solid way to kick off the film, with Elliot putting in a fine performance, and director Peter Duffell delivering plenty of suspense and chills, helped no end by Tom Adams as grinning loon Dominick, who looks convincingly deranged as he lurks in the shadows.

Tale number two, Waxworks, is my least favourite, which I find surprising since it stars Peter Cushing, one of my all-time favourite horror actors. Cushing plays retired businessman Philip Grayson, one of a pair of old love rivals who lose their heads after paying a visit to a Museum of Horror, where one of the exhibits bears an uncanny resemblance to the woman they both loved. Duffell does his best to make something of the weak material, using strong red and green lighting to add a sense of the unreal, but the result is still rather forgettable.

Another horror legend—Christopher Lee—turns up for tale number three, but like Cushing, he is unable to turn what is a rather predictable tale into anything special. If you can't guess how this one is going to end by the halfway mark, then you clearly haven't seen enough horror films. Lee plays the frightened father of a young girl with a secret; Nyree Dawn Porter is the teacher who cannot understand what he is so scared of.

For my money, the final story offers the most entertainment value, and here's why: a) the story is fun and delivers quite a few genuinely amusing moments (with a couple of neat in-jokes for horror fans), b) Ingrid Pitt's cleavage is fantastic, and c) it stars both Worzel Gummidge and The Crowman (Jon Pertwee and Geoffrey Bayldon AKA Catweazle). Pertwee is wonderful as pompous horror actor Paul Henderson, who buys a cape from Bayldon for his latest role as a vampire; the only problem is that whenever he wears the cape, he becomes a vampire for real.

Pertwee and Pitt pop up again as vampires in the last part of the wraparound tale to attack Holloway, who has payed a visit to the house against the advice of estate agent A.J. Stoker (John Bryans). Stoker closes the film by finally revealing the secret of the creepy property, but the explanation for the supernatural occurrences is something of a damp squib.

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for Pertwee and Pitt.


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