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Don't Open the Door / Don't Look in the Basement (Double Feature

2.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Oct 16, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Twice the screams...double the fear! It's the VCI's Grindhouse Special Edition Double Feature of "Don't Look in the Basement" and "Don't Open the Door." Don't Look in the Basement (1973) - Nurse Charlotte Beale arrives at the isolated Stephens Sanitarium to work, only to learn that Dr. Stephens was murdered by one of the patients and his successor, Dr. Geraldine Masters, is not very eager to take on new staff. Charlotte finds her job maddeningly hard as the patients torment and harass her at every turn; she soon learns why Dr. Masters is so eager to keep outsiders out. Don't Open the Door (1979) - In this horror movie, a dutiful granddaughter goes home to take care of her elderly grandmother. Once there, she finds herself trapped inside the house with a homicidal maniac. Bonus Features: Scene Selection, Original Theatrical Trailers for both movies, Bios Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital; 185 minutes; Color; 16x9 Widescreen; MPAA -R; Year - 1973, 1979; SRP - $14.99

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Bill McGhee, Jessie Lee Fulton, Robert Dracup, Harryette Warren, Michael Harvey
  • Directors: S. F. Brownrigg
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 185 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000TV1SW4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Don't Open the Door / Don't Look in the Basement (Double Feature" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
I'm still searching for an uncut Don't Look In The Basement. I remember seeing this film as a child on one of those tv channels that vanished once cable arrived. Several scenes were longer, especially the gruesome finale which is the film's highest point. Honestly, I didn't even watch the second flick because I was let down by this version of DLITB. The same thing happened with Don't Answer The Phone until an uncut version finally surfaced. I just hope I'm still around when someone finally decides to release a full version of this schlock classic. I may have been young but I know when a film has been butchered. I mean, this version doesn't even qualify for a PG-13 rating.
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Don't Look in the Basement
A young nurse finds herself at the mercy of an insane medical staff when she arrives at a remote institution, only to find out that the original staff had been killed and the crazies are running the nuthouse! This trashy Grindhouse classic is torn and tattered, using only the most rudimentary filming on a non-existent budget. The film's greatest strengths lies in its kooky characters and exaggerated performances that create a true sense of delirium and madness. In its original run, it was double-billed with THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, which shared its tasteless violence and crude production. Though the plotting is easily predictable, the pace moves along at a quick pace with enough kills and gratuitous nudity to hold the audience's attention until the final payoff in the end. DON'T earned its way on to the infamous Video Nasties list in the UK thanks to several bloody moments of early gore. After its original release in 1973 as THE FORGOTTEN, distributors changed the title during the film's re-release to cash in on the popular "DON'T" trend in schlocky Exploitation films of the late 70s and early 80s. For a cheapie shocker, DON'T makes for a great deal of bloody good fun!

Don't Open the Door
S.F. Brownrigg's sleazy followup to the Grindhouse classic DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT trails a young woman as she returns home to the house where her mother was killed 13 years earlier in order to tend to her dying grandmother. It isn't long before she begins receiving deranged phone calls from her mother's killer as he stalks her in the empty house. Exploitation films generally require three basic elements in order to succeed: gratuitous nudity, lurid violence, and abusive gore.
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VCI Entertainment brings us a double-dose of '70s exploitation/Grindhouse with this release of "Don't Look in the Basement" and "Don't Open the Door".

While neither film is worth repeat viewings, "Basement" is the better of the two and at least boasts a grisly-but-seemingly-edited finale that makes it worth following til the bitter end.

"Don't Look in the Basement" concerns the goings-on at an isolated sanitarium for the insane where young Nurse Charlotte (1972 Playboy Playmate Rosie Holotik) has agreed to work for psychiatric expert Dr. Stephens. (I guess Claudia Jennings was busy filming her famous "Brady Bunch" episode the twelve days this turkey was filmed). Unfortunately, the good doctor has recently met with the sharp end of an axe by one of his patients, and his successor, the stern female physician Dr. Masters (a blonde Kathleen Freeman lookalike), gives Charlotte a stone-cold welcome.

The script tries to divulge the backstory of each of the residents during the office scene where Charlotte meets Dr. Masters, but there are too many secondary characters to be developed fully. Still, the screenplay does a fair enough job for a cheap, sleazy drive-in flick.

I was hoping in some way this would be one of the Holy Grail of Grindhouse such as "I Drink Your Blood" or "The Baby". Unfortunately, those two flicks set the bar so high I've yet to find anything that comes satisfyingly close.

"Don't Look in the Basement" has its moments, but it's no Exploitation Classic. Worth viewing at least once for fans of the genre.

The second movie on this set, "Don't Open the Door" is a totally unsatisfying experience altogether.
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