The House That Dripped Blood
| 102 MINS | COLOUR | AMICUS |
When Paul Henderson goes missing, Inspector Holloway is called in to investigate his disappearance. The Inspector is then told, by a police officer, the previous history of the country house Paul Henderson had just rented. Four stories are related:-
(1.) Method For Murder: When novelist Charles Hillyer arrives at the house with his young wife Alice, he starts to see visions of Dominic, the psychotic character in his new novel.
(2.) Waxworks: When lonely bachelor, Philip Grayson, arrives at his new retirement home in the country, he becomes obsessed with the image of Salome he has seen in the town’s waxwork museum. It reminds him of a long lost love. When his friend and love rival, Neville Rogers, comes to visit, Neville also becomes obsessed with the image.
(3.) Sweets To The Sweet: John Reid, a very strict father, hires a governess to look after his daughter. He becomes angry when he discovers that the governess seems to be encouraging his daughter’s dangerous hobbies.
(4.) The Cloak: Paul Henderson, a horror movie actor, is sent into paroxysms of anger after he sees the low production values of the film he is starring in. He purchases a cloak of his own at an antique shop when he becomes dissatisfied with the one he has been given. It soon has a strange effect on him.
(1.) Method For Murder: Charles goes to see a psychiatrist, who tells him that authors often become immersed in the characters that they write about. However, at one session Dominic walks into the psychiatrist’s office and strangles the Doctor. Charles, too, is dispatched. At home, Dominic walks up to Alice and they embrace – it has been a set-up. Charles was to be sent mad, so that Alice could be with her lover. Dominic so ensnared by his character, strangles the life out of Alice.
(2.) Waxworks: Neville is so obsessed with the waxen image that instead of continuing his journey, he stays in a local hotel to be close to it. He tells Philip Grayson of his situation and Philip rushes to see him as he has a sense of foreboding. Neville is not at the hotel, so Philip goes to the museum. There, he sees Salome, and on the platter, Neville’s head. The museum’s curator, Neville’s murderer, struggles with Philip and later we see, on the platter, the head of Philip Grayson.
(3.) Sweets To The Sweet: During a power-cut Reid notices that one of the candles is missing. He realises that his daughter is back to her old tricks, dabbling in witchcraft. Later, his daughter casually throws a waxen effigy of her father onto the fire. Reid’s screams from upstairs indicate that he has suffered a deadly fate.
(4.) The Cloak: Paul Henderson notices that the cloak makes him invisible in the mirror. Later, after he puts it on, he rises off the floor. His lady friend, Carla, takes the cloak for herself and becomes a vampire, replete with fangs. She attacks Henderson and infects him with the virus of vampirism.
After hearing the four stories, Inspector Holloway goes to the house to investigate. He descends to the cellar and watches in shock as Paul Henderson rises out of a coffin. The Inspector is attacked but ultimately thwarts the attack by plunging a wooden stake into Henderson’s heart. Then another coffin opens containing Carla. This time the Inspector is not so lucky…
BritishHorrorFilms: “The House That Dripped Blood” is okay, and it has its moments (notably in the Dominic section), but it’s only really okay – despite its stellar cast.
Timeout: Three of the episodes are rough-and-ready but vigorous Grand Guignol fun.
Britmovie: Few anthology films are as well made as “The House That Dripped Blood” though “Dead of Night” from 1945 was the first of this type of film.
Paul Henderson: That’s what’s wrong with the present-day horror films. There’s no realism. Not like the old ones, the great ones. Frankenstein. Phantom of the Opera. Dracula – the one with Bela Lugosi of course, not this new fellow.
- Directed by Peter Duffell
- Produced by Max Rosenberg & Milton Subotsky
- Music by Michael Dress
- Cinematography Ray Parslow
- Production company Amicus Productions
- Not one drop of blood appears in the actual film.
- Originally, director Peter Duffell wanted to have the title Death and the Maiden.
- The film was a minor success in the UK but did very well in the US.
- Vincent Price was first offered the part of Paul Henderson but was unable to accept because American International Pictures held an exclusive contract with him for horror films.
John Bennett — Det. Insp. Holloway | John Bryans — A.J. Stoker | John Malcolm — Sgt. Martin | Denholm Elliott — Charles Hillyer (Method for Murder) | Joanna Dunham — Alice Hillyer (Method for Murder) | Tom Adams — Dominic (Method for Murder) | Robert Lang — Dr. Andrews (Method for Murder) | Peter Cushing — Philip Grayson (Waxworks) | Joss Ackland — Neville Rogers (Waxworks) | Wolfe Morris — Waxworks Proprietor (Waxworks) | Christopher Lee — John Reid (Sweets to the Sweet) | Nyree Dawn Porter — Ann Norton (Sweets to the Sweet) | Chloe Franks — Jane Reid (Sweets to the Sweet) | Jon Pertwee — Paul Henderson (The Cloak) | Ingrid Pitt — Carla Lynde (The Cloak)