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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 UK.

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:

From The author of Psycho! 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

Among the photographs in the frame of Paul Henderson's mirror is one of Jon Pertwee driving "Bessie," the car he drove as the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963). When Pertwee made this film, he was still playing the Doctor. 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

References Richard III (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

immense fun with a first-rate genre cast
9 September 2004 | by dr_foremanSee all my reviews

*contains very minor spoilers* (I'm sure the back of the box gives away more!)

Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Joss Ackland, Jon Pertwee...hey, this is one heck of a B-movie cast! All my British friends, together in the same horror anthology. Bliss. Mind you, I'm generally not too crazy about Amicus films; they're more screwed-up and cynical than their charming Hammer counterparts. But this time, Amicus got it just about right. The quality of the stories is uneven, but each has merit.

Story #1 is a pretty dull tale about a horror writer (played by Indiana Jones' buddy Denholm Elliot) who is haunted by one of his fictional creations, a strangler called Dominick. There are some interesting twists, yeah, but the characters are such stereotypes that it's hard to care much about them. And there's really nothing more tedious than writers writing about themselves! Stick with it, though, there's better stuff to come.

Story #2 is probably my favorite. The newly-retired Peter Cushing is haunted by a waxwork figure in a horror museum; it bears a striking resemblance to the late love of his life. An old friend, played by Joss Ackland (a very natural and likable performance), arrives and also falls under the wax girl's spell. I didn't really understand this story when I was ten, probably because I had not yet learned to pine for inaccessible women. However, since then I've been convinced that a wooden figure in a playground was modeled on an ex of mine, so suddenly this really resonates! A wonderfully sad, lonely tale.

Story #3 is also great. Christopher Lee gets to play a sort-of good guy, a rare treat for his fans; his daughter, as it turns out, is a little sorceress. The contrast between her sweet appearance and evil aims works rather well.

Story #4 is...ahem...rather silly, actually. It stars Jon "Doctor Who" Pertwee as a flamboyant horror film star. There's a lot of metahumor in this one; for example, Pertwee's character complains about having to star in cheap horror movies within the context of...a cheap horror movie called "The House that Dripped Blood"! "Doctor Who" was cheap, too, so one wonders if Pertwee was secretly complaining about his own career. But, apparently, he was actually spoofing Christopher Lee. The humor is this segment works, but it's strange to end such a dark movie with a goofy installment. I also don't know quite how to feel about seeing Jon get hoisted up on clearly visible wires during a "flying" segment.

After a somewhat dodgy epilogue with more Pertwee facing-making, the whole thing wraps up nicely with some cryptic remarks from an estate agent. On to the next British horror cheapie!

By their very nature, these anthology movies are mixed bags, but this is definitely one of the strongest. It's worth a look for the cast alone, and the middle two installments are definitely superior horror shorts.


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