The House That Dripped Blood
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A Scotland Yard inspectors search for a missing film star leads him to a haunted house. The house sets the framework for four separate tales of terror written by the author of Psycho, Robert Bloch, and starring horror icons Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt. All four stories center on the mysterious fates of tenants who have leased the mansion over the years.
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I saw this film in the year it was made in the Bronx one Sunday night up at Fordham Road with my cousins and we all enjoyed it. The common element to the three (or four, if you count the last short tale) was this neat old house which would be leased out to new individuals, and then the supernatural fun would first start.
The first tale, Method For Murder, involves a horror writer, played by Denholm Elliot, whose most recent literary creation, a maniacal strangler, seems to have come to life, and is lurking in and around the house, being all troublesome and such.
The second story, Waxworks, stars Peter Cushing as a retired investment banker and mysterious goings on at the local wax museum. Seems one of the wax figures in the museum bares an uncanny resemblance to a woman he used to know. This one also has a young Joss Ackland, of whom I vaguely recognized until I remembered him as the head bad guy from Lethal Weapon 2.
The third story, Sweets to the Sweet, stars Christopher Lee in a tale about a child with unnatural abilities. To say anymore would give it away, though you will most likely be able to figure out what's going on before the ending is revealed.
The fourth story, The Cloak, star Jon Pertwee as an egotistical horror actor in search of a realistic cloak for an upcoming role in a horror movie. He does find what he's looking for, and much more. Also in this one is Ingrid Pitt, as his buxom co-star. This one had a twinge of humor throughout, while the others were more serious, straightforward horror tales. One part that stands out in my mind was when Pertwee is verbally thrashing the art and movie director for the lack of realism in the sets and in the wardrobe, and he relates the 'look' he's after to past horror movies for examples, citing Frankenstein and Dracula, "but the one with Bela Lugosi, not that newer one." in reference to Christopher Lee and his performances as the count.
The fifth story is basically an ongoing one between the other stories, involving the Scotland Yard inspector hearing each of the four tales, and then deciding to see this house for himself.
All stories seem to be credited to Robert Bloch, probably best known for writing the Hitchcock classic Psycho, but looking at the IMDb, it shows a couple of other writers had a hand in this movie, most notably Richard Matheson. The print used for transfer to DVD was quite good, especially when compared to an included trailer of dubious quality. The only other special feature is a psuedo interview with the producer, Max Rosenberg, whose prolific production career includes such movies like Scream and Scream Again (1969), Tales From the Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), The Land That Time Forgot (1975), and The Incredible Melting Man (1977). Good directing, accomplished actors, a creepy house, and a haunting musical score all come together to create an overall enjoyable experience. The threads that tied the individual stories to the house were a little thin in some places, but that appears fairly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.