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Halloween Movie Review #18: The House That Dripped Blood

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Four creepy tales penned by master horror writer Robert Bloch (of Psycho fame) starring classic British actors Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Jon Pertwee, and that guy who plays Marcus Brody in the Indiana Jones films. And also the always-seductive Ingrid Pitt. What’s not to love?

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The House That Dripped Blood conjured up memories of the Saturday afternoon horror film on network TV, which immediately followed cartoons in our house each week. They’re PG enough for the kids to watch, yet they have an earnestness to them and get under your skin nonetheless.

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The wraparound story for these four stories loosely – make that extremely loosely – ties the events to a single house that each of the affected characters were staying in at the time of their unfortunate incidents. The plots are not entirely original, but their treatments are unique enough in their own way to maintain your interest and keep you guessing. We have:

  • A writer whose writing seems to be coming to life
  • A wax museum figure that has a strange effect on men who view it
  • A creepy kid story
  • An actor who receives a cloak with strange powers

That last one is so original and funny that it balances out the entire enterprise. If you’re familiar with the Hammer series of horror films at all, you’ve seen plenty of Ingrid Pitt and can guess exactly where this one’s gonna land.

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All the tales, in fact, are peppered with jokes here and there for the eagle-eyed. As for thrill factor, I think it stands out from other anthologies because these stories are strongly rooted in psychological horror, rather than running from monsters and ghosts and investigating dark rooms by candlelight.

You’re not going to be blown away by this film, and I doubt you will be scared, but if you’re like me you’ll experience The House That Dripped Blood like a warm blanket on the living room sofa on a Saturday afternoon.

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