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VINE VOICEon May 16, 2010
The Gorehouse Greats 3-disc DVD collection is a fantastic set if you love horror movies of any kind, including dated, low-budget, drive-in or grindhousey ones, because that's what you get here. This set holds 12 feature films, an amazing amount for the price you can sometimes find this at, considering that these aren't the same public domain horror films that have been on dollar DVD releases for years. These films are all from Crown International Pictures, released by Mill Creek Entertainment in a pretty cool looking case, and are a really nice variety of plots. I'll describe the films below, pointing out my faves. Bear with me though, as I'm listing them as they're listed on the back of the DVD case, and they just happened to list the best ones near the bottom...

"Blood of Dracula's Castle": A young couple inherits a castle in the middle of nowhere, but to move in they have to first evict the current tenants, Dracula and his wife and staff. This ended up being the last film I watched in the set, despite having the most appealing title to me (because I love the old Christopher Lee Dracula stuff). From 1969, this film is in color, but it is also probably the worst print in this set, at times being hard to watch at all, though being fine at other times. For the record though, most of the films in this DVD set are pretty decent quality. Anyway, Blood of Dracula's Castle also ended up being the last film I watched because it starts out so hokey. You really have to stick with it through the introduction of the young couple, because it quickly becomes a very enjoyable, entertaining flick after that. It's cheesy, but it's also funny and surprising at times, because in the beginning it seems like it's a 60's beach movie or "Girl in Gold Boots" or something. Thankfully, it's not. When all is said and done, while "Blood of Dracula's Castle" is not the best film in the set or anything, I'd definitely list it as one of the better ones, despite the awful quality of the print.

"Blood Mania": A doctor being blackmailed over his history of illegal abortions attempts to gain the money by romancing a rich woman, but she turns out to be too jealous for his own good. From 1970 and in color, "Blood Mania" would be on the lower end of the spectrum for me in this set. It's interesting enough to hold ones attention, but you keep wondering when it is going to live up to the title. It doesn't until near the end, when it starts to get pretty good but ends too abruptly and leaving too big of a question. This one is more about blackmail than anything else, at least until near the end.

"Brain Twisters": A college professor's experiment in mind control goes out of control in this sci-fi thriller. Pretty descent flick from 1991, and the most recent in this set. Still, not a top fave.

"The Devil's Hand": When a man is bewitched by a sorceress in a bizarre cult, he joins the group and struggles with the decision, especially when it begins to endanger his former fiancé. This 1962 horror film is your typical black and white, low budget fair. It's a good film over all, surprisingly interesting.

"The Madmen of Mandoras": Better known as "They Saved Hitler's Brain", that bit of info alone makes this black and white 1963 film worth having. It is as bizarre as it sounds. At least, the scenes with Hitler's head in a jar being ported around by Nazis in a South American country. Unfortunately, those scenes are the most interesting part of the film, which otherwise isn't that great. Ya gotta see this at least once though.

"Nightmare in Wax": From 1969 and in color, this story of a disfigured man forced to leave the world of filmmaking to work in a Hollywood wax museum from where he exacts a gruesome revenge is pretty good, but it's also one of the not so good prints in this set, if I recall correctly. It's totally watchable though, and I particularly found this one interesting because it was partly shot at the Movieland Wax Museum I have memories of visiting on a family trip to California as a very small child. I even recognized some of the displays.

"Prime Evil": From 1988, this film about a sect of monks turned to Satanism is very entertaining, though at times feels like one of those barely coherent Italian horror films, ha. It surely took some inspiration from those, but it's a bit better.

"Satan's Slave": From 1976 and in color, "Satan's Slave" is among the best movies in this set, I'd say, though it's also the first one I watched, so I don't remember it as well now, ha. It is more in line with something from Hammer or Amicus, which I really like, and is the story of a young woman who goes to visit her secretly deranged cousin and Satanist uncle, not knowing they have big plans for her. This one and two others I'll be describing soon make this set worth the price on their own.

"Stanley": This quirky, 1972 film about a man who only seems to be able to relate to rattlesnakes, to the point where he lives with tons of them in his home and usually carries his favorite freely around his neck, is another of my absolute faves in this set. I even remember seeing the trailer for this one at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater one day, so maybe some of you saw that too. It's just plain weird, but it is great!

"Terrified": From 1963 and in black and white, this film about a mysterious hooded killer is only occasionally interesting, though the ending is good. It's one of the weaker ones in this set, and just not very memorable.

"Terror": From 1978, this color film starts out very promising, but it quickly loses its oomph to the point where you're lucky if you can remember how it ends, as I can't right now. I can tell you it's about some filmmakers and actors in London, one of which believes there is a curse placed on his family from way back when they helped destroy a local witch.

"Trip with Teacher": This 1975 color flick is about a small group of female students and their young teacher who are going on a camping trip when they are sidetracked by a crazed biker and his brother and become tortured hostages. This one is very much in the vein of "Last House on the Left" and its copycats, but it's also one of the three best films in this set alongside "Stanley" and "Satan's Slave". There are a lot of moments when you wonder why certain people do the stupid things they do, or don't do other things, to improve their situation, but that's to be expected. It's still a highly engaging and tense flick. Good stuff!

And that's the "Gorehouse Greats" collection, a fantastic set for the price. These flicks aren't going to give you nightmares, but many of them will sure entertain you! Too bad there are no DVD extras, as some trailers for these flicks would have been a hoot to see as well!
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on July 26, 2010
Let me just start off with saying not everyone will go for these movies, but if you were a true drive-in goer from the early days, you'll probably lap these up, scratchy prints and all (I remember some prints at the drive-in were indeed very scratchy)
As this set features everything from Hitlers head, snakes to wax dummies, now how can you beat a collection like that?
I have to take my hat off to Mill Creek, what they can lack in quality and to be fair some prints are quite good, they sure make up in quantity and price, while offering some very rare gems, warts and all.
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on January 27, 2010
If you are like me and grew up with late night "creature feature" type programs. You have probably seen at least some of these movies before. None are really that "gory", but all are fun bad movies. There are actually a few actually good little flicks hidden in this collection as well. For this price you can't really go wrong. I have many of Millcreek Entertainments other sets and have been happy with most of them. I'm pleased to say that none of these movies has yet to be repeaded in any of their 20 or 50 movie sets.
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on November 8, 2010
This is the second 12-movie box set from the Crown International Pictures catalog put out by Mill Creek that I've watched, the first being Savage Cinema: 12 Movie Collection. From a technical standpoint, the films in the 'Gorehouse' collection match up pretty well with 'Savage', although none of them are pristine - the very best of them suffer at least from blips indicating reel changeovers, and the worst ('Blood of Dracula's Castle') are nearly unwatchable in parts due to vertical yellow streaks all across the screen. Additionally, the movie 'Terrified' suffers from poor sound quality, but in all fairness I have to admit that I watched it in an environment with a lot of background noise, and my hearing isn't all that it once was either. Still, that leads to one of my biggest complaints with these multi-pack reissues - and that is the lack of captions or subtitles. I don't look for the situation to change - Mill Creek is putting out these movies at an extremely affordable rate, so it almost seems unfair to complain about missing out on some of the extras, but closed captions for me would certainly be worth an extra bit of change.

Aside from 'Dracula's Castle' and 'Terrified', I would judge the sound and picture for the rest are sufficient for the overall quality and type of films they are. Unfortunately, 'what type of films these are' may not be readily apparent. Judging from the pose of the attractive, be-spattered young woman on the cover, if one didn't know better, it would appear as if this is a collection of gore-soaked and splatter films. The title adds to the confusion - as far as I know, 'gorehouse' isn't even a word, so what it actually means is up for grabs. Obviously it is supposed to combine the ideas of gore and grindhouse, which is still a pretty sketchy area, since fans of these genres have a wide range of likes and dislikes. Additionally, you simply cannot stretch your imagination far enough to consider this collection 'Great', gorehouse or otherwise. Instead, these are a mix of horror films from the sixties and seventies, with two from the late '80's and early '90's thrown in for good measure, all of which will probably be extremely disappointing for gore fans weened on films by Eli Roth and Rob Zombie. Conversely, those who are looking for weird grindhouse stuff are also likely to be less than enthused - classics of that ilk are pretty well identified and priced as such, and not haphazardly included in a collection like this with 12 films for less than 10 bucks. A few flicks included here have moments that may appeal to the eclectic connoisseur of bizarre rarities, but it will be more the exception than the rule, and none of these films approach the truly ugly depths that the worst of exploitation films can sometimes tap into.

What is here is sometimes odd, sometimes quirky, sometimes dreadful, but mostly just plain bad. I can't imagine any of these films garnering more than three stars except on the most ardent fan's scale, and most will rate much worse. Still, if approached with zero expectations, they do have some charm. I reviewed as many of these films as possible on their individual product pages, so for anyone interested in a particular film, they can find more detailed comments there. Here is a quick rundown of the films included in this collection, with my individual star ratings, from best to worst.

*** Stanley: Special Edition - A warm-hearted tale of a boy and his six-foot rattlesnake that go on a spree of revenge killing. See individual review.

*** Satan's Slave - Kindly British uncle turns out to be murderous occultist bent on acquiring Satanic power. Who knew. See individual review.

**1/2 The Devil's Hand - I probably like this more than anyone else will. Commissioner Gordon from TV's Batman is the high priest in the cult of 'The Great Devil God Gamba'. Worth it just to watch Linda Christian for 60 minutes or so. See individual review

**1/2 Trip With Teacher - Before 'Red Shoe Diaries', we get this little nasty entry in Zalman King's oeuvre. Not really a good film, but is probably the closest thing in the collection to what I think of as 'grindhouse'. Some rather intense scenes as a psychotic biker and his brother terrorize four girls and their teacher on a class trip through the desert. Contains the inadvertently hilarious scene of a biker going over a cliff that looks like a parody shot in an 'Airplane' film. The film is also available on an 'Exploitation Cinema' two-fer (OOP), but I'm surprised this film doesn't have it's own release, considering that the tremendously more awful 'Prime Evil' does.

**1/2 Blood Mania - Little blood, little mania, lots of soft-core sex. See individual review.

**1/2 Brain Twisters,Nightmare in Wax, and Terror - Silly, dated, and boring. See individual reviews.

** Blood of Dracula's Castle [VHS] - Terrible transfer, but it wouldn't rate any higher anyway. Al Adamsondirects. See individual review.

*1/2 The Madmen of Mandoras (AKA They Saved Hitler's Brain) - This one had so much going for it - great special effects, if by great you mean really, really bad, and Hitler. I'm not really sure how you can make a bad film with the title of 'They Saved Hitler's Brain', but director David Bradley manages it. The question needs to be asked, is this where Ira Levin got his inspiration?

*1/2 Terrified - people run around a ghost town while a hooded killer chases them. Not as good as I've made it sound.

Prime Evil - Primarily awful. See individual review

As with the 'Savage Cinema Collection', there are no extras included on these discs, and each disc comes with two movies per side. The three discs are inserted into paper sleeves which do a good job protecting them, and the inside of the case has a space fitted for the sleeves to lay, so nothing should jump around while the case is closed. I actually like this system pretty well - far better than pushing the disc onto the small spindle that's standard with most DVD cases. What's more, there are no Mill Creek water marks cluttering up the screen on any of these films. I gather that Mill Creek stopped doing that around 2008, so all current copies should be safe.

All in all, I liked the 'Savage Cinema' slightly better, though I don't know if there's really that much difference between the two of them. I would say that this collection is worth it if only for the inexpensive and only in-print versions of 'Stanley' and 'Trip with Teacher', and perhaps 'Satan's Slave' too, but that's only for those who go for those type of exploitation films. Still, three flicks for the price isn't a bad deal - and if you shop around, you may even get it for less. You're not getting my copy though, unless you pry it out of my cold dead hands.

Last note - Despite the Amazon listing information, Tor Johnson does not appear in any of these films.
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on December 9, 2012
When you see the price, you know not to expect much. These films are squeezed onto the discs, meaning sound and video quality is poor. But, most of them are pretty old movies to begin with, so it kind of adds to the nostalgic factor. I had never heard of any of these movies and there is a reason. These are all B-movies with wooden acting and low grade production. But, they get really campy and fun in a "cult-classic," "So bad that it's good" kind of way. With 12 movies at $3.99 (currently) you are bound to find at least a few that can hold your interest and be enjoyable. The discs are double sided and in little black sleeves, like most Mill Creek titles seem to be packaged. It's a low cost product, made cheaply and packaged cheaply. However, for four bucks, you don't have much to lose.
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on February 27, 2015
Should be called "Borefest". Really bad movies and not in the Ed Woodian "so bad they are good" sense, just bad. As others have posted the best one of the lot (cheese factor-wise) is the Blood of Dracula's Castle flick, with the redoubtable Alex d'Arcy and Paula Raymond laying it on thick, but even that one is marred by a horrible print. If you are looking for movies to throw on as video wallpaper, OK, you get 12 of them here for $3. Most of these movies are public domain and on YT, so if you still have 56K dial-up internet, go for it, otherwise.....
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on February 23, 2015
Here my reviews, in order of the appearance on the back of the DVD box. I'll include a brief synopsis and review in the section below.

Blood of Dracula's Castle - Glen and Liz inherit a house, which currently has occupants - they go out to see the house only to soon discover that the people who live there are sadistic vampires. I really liked this move. A damaged print aside, it had that classic midnight movie feel to it, it hit all the right keys, and made watching it extremely fun. 4/5 stars.

Blood Mania - Two sisters inherit money from deceased dad - what they don't expect is the instant rivalry that puts between them, especially when one of them is kinda crazy. This movie was ultimately very forgettable, but surprisingly the one that now I think I want to re-watch the most. It did have a cool atmosphere and interest to it, It just needed more attention than I was willing to give it. I gave it 2/5 stars but frankly I bet it deserves more.

Brain Twisters - Doctor Phillip Rothman is conducting experiments on students at a local university - experiments that drive them to kill! Easiest to sum up so far! This one was very 90's, and kind of entertaining in that 90's cheese sort of way. It felt campy and bland but was actually kind of interesting and fun. I gave it 2/5 stars.

The Devil's Hand - Rick Turner is haunted by visions of a woman in his dreams. When he sees her likeness on a doll at a local store, he goes in, and gets introduced to a weird cult. This movie had a strong beginning, petered out a bit, and ultimately made me unhappy at the end. But it was pretty well made, it was just more of a drama than the rest. It is perhaps the most vague film on here, and it is the oldest, and frankly it shows.
2.5/5

The Madmen of Mandoras - After a string of disappearances, policemen descend upon a South American island where Hitler's Reich still reigns, led by an enigmatic leader. This movie is the "best" movie on here as far as Cult Classics is concerned. I mean the front of the DVD case does say 12 cult classics. So they were going for that. This movie is also known as "They Saved Hitler's Brain" and just from that title you know it's good. Wackiness and stupidity give this one a high watchability factor. See it with friends! I give it 4/5

Nightmare in Wax - Cameron Mitchell stars as Vincent Renard, a wax sculptor and psycho killer who is out for revenge for a wrong that was done to him ages ago. This may have been the film I was most excited about in the beginning, and then let down by. It just didn't have that certain indefinable thing to it. I don't know. Put this on the list of ones I must rewatch. I gave it 2/5

Prime Evil - A satanic cult needs a virgin sacrifice to retain their immortality - will a local virgin girl be their next victim? Meanwhile, a brave nun tries to infiltrate the cult. This movie was my first to watch and I was not sure what to expect. It's a slow film in retrospect, but it does create an atmosphere. It's very talky, but has some unique kills. I guess it gets 2.5/5

Satan's Slave - Catherine and her parents are on their way to see her uncle when they crash, and her parents die. Living with her uncle, she soon becomes aware that not all is as it seems. I liked this movie, and it may go down as the least likely movie to be on this set. Why? It is actually classy, well made, has good actors, and aged well. It could easily be a well known 70's horror in other words. It's a slow build up, not helped by the awesome beginning, and thus the biggest flaw in the movie is it's pacing. Also, an overdone ending doesn't help. I feel compelled to give in 3.5/5 stars.

Stanley - An American Indian lives with and trains snakes to do his bidding, which in this case is the eventual revenge for his wrongly killed father. This movie was hokey and laughable but still not good or enjoyable. It might be okay in terms of plot, but the pacing was too slow and the actors were boring and mumbled the whole film. Definitely could've been edited down to be more enjoyable. Maybe 1 or 1.5 stars.

Terrified - Someone is playing dangerous games on the road, and it leads 4 young people to a deserted mining town where they find a body. Are they the next victims? Definitely the weak spot on the DVD release, this movie was plagued by plot holes and stupidity. I felt like some scenes were unnecessarily long and awkward. It may have also been the most technically inept film on here. That said, it would make a great movie to riff because of it's long silences. Half a star rating.

Terror - While making a movie, a film crew accidentally unleashes a ghost, who comes after them. The winner of the boxset for me initially, I felt compelled to read some other reviews of this movie. People can find the smallest things to complain about. I still think this movie was great. It was smart, fast paced, clever, and fun. An awesome movie. I will give it 4/5

Trip With the Teacher - A couple rebel motorcyclists find a broken down bus filled with pretty young girls. When they get in trouble with the girl's caretaker, they lead them all out to the middle of nowhere and get their revenge. Definitely the darkest, strangest, and creepiest film on the set, this movie is the only one that I would warn someone about. It's definitely well made and acted, it's got a cool setting, and it's a good movie. It's just not campy, feel-good, or cheesy like the rest. 3.5/5

Alright! So look at that! It's all done. In all, I gave most the movies pretty decent reviews. I have to say this was the first time I watched a boxset all the way through. I should also say that I should have watched them all sober, approached them all the same way, been more analytical, whatever. But I'm just human.

All in all this is a great purchase. I loved 4, almost 5 of these movies. So 5 great movies for the low, low price of 3 dollars on Amazon, is just a great deal. Plus, I am going to rewatch at least 4 of these. So that's cool.

Box quality is serviceable, those little black paper things that hold the DVDs are just about as cheap as possible though. One is already coming apart.

Overall value, I give it a solid B-. .
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on October 30, 2011
This is a nice collection of mostly 60's-70's low budget creep-fest. Those who don't already like these type of movies should probably not bother. My favorites from this 12 movie, 3-disc collection include: 'Blood of Dracula's Castle', 'Nightmare in Wax', 'The Madmen of Mandoras', and 'Stanley'.

'Blood of Dracula's Castle' is a horrible copy with streaks of green like it was mangled by the drive-in projector(but this adds to the creepiness, in my opinion). 'Stanley' includes copious handling of live snakes(and might be offensive to modern sentiments with actual on-screen violence toward snakes) including villian characters that look/act like they belong on a Sex Offenders list.

And for those in Southern California, 'Nightmare in Wax' includes actual scenes from the now defunct Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California. I got my used copy for a little over three bucks and change, so that's around 30 cents a movie. Not a bad deal for some old-school drive-in fun.
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on December 6, 2014
Some of these were so subpar in quality and picture. I guess about what is to be expected. This was an accidental buy on my part. But it was very low priced.
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on July 13, 2014
This 12 Film Multi-Pack contains most, if not all films, from Crown International Pictures. I enjoy most of these on this edition. Especially "Prime Eveil" (really CHEESEY!!!). Many of these are on other Mill Creek Entertainment multi-packs.
No matter how you slice it, this is a little piece of guilty enjoyment
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