Blu-ray Review: THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD Pours on Nostalgia
Like Hammer Films (most affectionately known as Hammer Horror), Amicus Productions was based in England and among other genres, specialized in gothic horror films with plenty of atmosphere and excellent ensemble casts. These movies have a palpable feel and flavor, and are much-beloved by fans such as myself.
This is why I'm happy to say that Scream Factory has knocked it out of the park yet again with their Blu-ray release of Amicus' The House That Dripped Blood, out on Blu-ray today. It's one of those anthology horror films of a certain delicious vintage that's just so much fun. Starring a fantastic cast of British actors, such as Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt, Jon Pertwee, Joanna Dunham, Nyree Dawn Porter, and Denholm Elliott, The House That Dripped Blood, unspirals into four segments, all directed by Peter Duffell: "Method for Murder;" "Waxworks;" "Sweets to the Sweet;" and "The Cloak."
The production was filmed at Shepperton Studios in mostly one location, but never bores, because director Duffell knew to take advantage of the "old dark house" and set each story mainly in a certain section of the house. The "Waxworks" segment with Cushing (fantastic here) does take place both in the house but also spends a good deal of time at a local house of wax horrors in town.
The wrap-around story "Method for Murder" focuses on a Scotland Yard agent who's tasked with tracking down a missing film star who last lived in the house. As the film progresses, we find that several inhabitants of said house have met mysterious and grisly ends.
Written by Robert Bloch (Psycho), all four segments were satisfying and well-acted; the ending was a bit cheesy, but it was definitely made to be tongue-in-cheek, with a few inside jokes here and there.
The picture is astonishing for a 1971 film; I could have sworn that this was a restoration, but I can't find any proof on the website or press release of that. The House That Dripped Blood also sounds great, too.
I really enjoyed the special features, and found myself wanting more because these films (again) are just so much fun. The audio commentary by film historian and author Troy Howarth is a mini film class in itself.
- NEW Audio Commentary by film historian/author Troy Howarth
- NEW interview with second assistant director Mike Higgins
- Audio Commentary with director Peter Duffell and author Jonathan Rigby
- Vintage Featurette - A-Rated Horror Film – featuring interviews with director Peter Duffell, actors Geoffrey Bayldon, Ingrid Pitt and Chloe Franks
- Theatrical Trailers (English and Spanish)
- Radio Spots
- The Amicus Radio Spots Collection
- Still Gallery
The House That Dripped Blood has my highest recommendation if you're a fan of these great old films, Hammer, or Amicus. To order this awesome release or get more info, check out Scream Factory's page here. Enjoy!