Sunday Matinee: The House That Dripped Blood

Amicus Productions was a British film company that was around from the 1960s to the 1970s. They tried to compete with Hammmer Films and used several of the same actors.

Amicus Productions main type of horror film was the anthology which they found some success with. They made seven anthology films, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Torture Garden (1967), The House That Dripped Blood (1971), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), Vault of Horror (1973) and From Beyond the Grave (1974). Today we’re looking at the recently released on bluray The House That Dripped Blood.

The movie is broken into four parts with a framing story loosely tying everything together. A famous actor has disappeared and a police inspector from Scotland Yard has arrived in the small village to investigate. A local police officer tells the inspector that there has been strange things happening at the house. He recounts the first tale Method For Murder. Horror novelist Denholm Elliott and his wife rent the house so Elliott can finish writing his new novel. Elliott’s novel is about a killer and soon he starts seeing the fellow lurking around the house.

The second story is called Waxworks and has Peter Cushing as a retired man taking over the rent of the house and living a quiet life. He goes into town and finds a wax museum where a sculpture of a beautiful woman reminds Cushing of a woman. Cushing’s friend Joss Ackland comes to visit and discovers the wax museum and the sculpture. Both become obsessed with it.

The third tale is Sweets to the Sweet where Christopher Lee moves into the house with his daughter and he hires a teacher to home school the girl. The teacher notices some strange things going on between Lee and his daughter.

The final tale is about the actor Jon Pertwee who finds a cloak in a creepy store that’s perfect for his role as a vampire. A little too perfect as wearing it actually turns Pertwee into a vampire.

Most of the stories are pretty solid. The script was written by Robert Bloch (Psycho) and he adapts several of his own short stories. The stories tend to feel like you are watching an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents rather than a horror movie about an evil house. To be fair the house doesn’t really do anything wrong and is quite a nice house. Cushing and Lee are excellent as is Elliott. Pertwee is a little hammy though as the actor. Still a good anthology movie.

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