The House That Dripped Blood (1971) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Peter Duffell
Producers: Milton Subotsky, Max Rosenberg
Writers: Robert Bloch, Russ Jones
Date Released: February 21, 1971
John Bennett as Detective Inspector Holloway
John Bryans as A.J. Stoker
John Malcolm as Sergeant Martin
Method For Murder
Denholm Elliott as Charles Hillyer
Joanna Dunham as Alice Hillyer
Tom Adams as Richard/Dominic
Robert Lang as Dr. Andrews
Peter Cushing as Philip Grayson
Joss Ackland as Neville Rogers
Wolfe Morris as Waxworks Proprietor
Sweets to the Sweet
Christopher Lee as John Reid
Nyree Dawn Porter as Ann Norton
Chloe Franks as Jane Reid
Jon Pertwee as Paul Henderson
Ingrid Pitt as Carla Lynde
Geoffrey Bayldon as Theo von Hartmann
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about an inspector who was tasked to investigate the sudden disappearance of a movie actor named Paul Henderson. He went to the police who told him of two previous tenants and the mysterious deaths. The first one was about a writer who thought he was going crazy. The second one was about a lonely man and his friend who loved the same woman mysteriously displayed in a horror museum. He did not believe the stories so he went to the real estate agent instead, who told him one more story of a tenant and his witch child, and told that Paul Henderson was attacked by a vampire. The inspector did not believe the stories so he went by himself and eventually got killed in a secret vampire lair in the basement.
There was no blood or gore in this movie. The horror came from the creepy prosthetics and apparitions in the first story, the severed heads in the second story, the voodoo practice in the third story, and the vampirism in the fourth and main stories.
The Grave Review
The stories do not intertwine with each other but were held together by a common denominator which was the house.
Method For Murder – This segment tackled the psychological horror of an author getting carried away by his character. It had a good use of sound effects. The evil character appearing out of nowhere was so creepy and the twisted revelation changed everything towards the end.
Waxworks – This segment is about two friends who were hypnotized by their former love interest who was now a wax figure at the horror museum. It had great camerawork, smoke effects, and lighting during the dream sequence. The shocking revelation by the museum owner was leaning towards serial killing.
Sweets To The Sweet – This segment tackled witchcraft in a shocking way that it used a seemingly innocent child to attack her father through a voodoo doll. The child actress was great and could be compared to other actors playing evil kids.
The Cloak – This segment tackled vampirism which was somehow funny in several occasions, especially the fact that being a vampire was transferred to whoever wears the cloak and that the original owner finally died after having sold the cloak. The costume seller was creepy though.
Framework – This was the anchor story in which the movie starts and ends with the journey of the inspector. It is where the first two stories were told by the police, and the other two was told by the real estate agent. The inspector finally found what he was looking for as a continuation of the vampire story where Paul and Carla were already vampires.
The anthology was brilliantly executed. All segments were performed by amazing actors with great dialogues. There were no dull moments because all the twists and revelations were shocking and unpredictable. Although there were no blood and gore, the scary prosthetics and edge-of-the-seat thrills were enough to bring terror to the audience.
The only problem was the irrelevant title. There was not even a drip of blood in this movie and it seemed that the house itself has nothing to do with what happened to the tenants. In fact, it focused more on the weird tenants rather than the interior or exterior of the house.
In any case, the ending was brilliant in a way that the real estate agent broke the fourth wall by facing the camera and talking to the audience about the secret of the house. He even leaves a question of whether or not the audience would want to rethink being the next tenant.
Overall, this movie is enjoyable and highly recommended for those who love creepy horror with crazy twists.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The House That Dripped Blood (1971) four graves out of five graves.
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