The House That Dripped Blood

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The House That Dripped Blood
The House That Dripped Blood.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed by Peter Duffell
Produced by Milton Subotsky
Max Rosenberg
Written by Robert Bloch
Russ Jones
Starring Christopher Lee
Peter Cushing
Denholm Elliott
Ingrid Pitt
Nyree Dawn Porter
Jon Pertwee
Music by Michael Dress
Cinematography Ray Parslow
Edited by Peter Tanner
Production
company
Distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • February 1971 (1971-02)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $500,000

The House That Dripped Blood is a 1971 British horror anthology film directed by Peter Duffell and distributed by Amicus Productions. It stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Nyree Dawn Porter, Denholm Elliott, and Jon Pertwee. The film is a collection of four short stories, all originally written and subsequently scripted by Robert Bloch, linked by the protagonist of each story's association with the eponymous building. The film carries the tagline "TERROR waits for you in every room in The House That Dripped Blood."

Plot[edit]

Poster for Italian version

Shortly after renting an old country house, film star Paul Henderson mysteriously disappears and Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) from Scotland Yard is called to investigate. Inquiring at the local police station, Holloway is told some of the house's history. He then contacts the estate agent (John Bryans) renting the house, who elaborates further by telling Holloway about its previous tenants.

Segments[edit]

Method For Murder (Fury #7, July 1962) 

A hack writer of horror stories (Denholm Elliott) moves into the house with his wife (Joanna Dunham) and is haunted by visions of Dominic (Tom Adams), the murderous, psychopathic central character of his latest novel.

Waxworks (Weird Tales Vol. 33 #1, January 1939) 

Two friends (Peter Cushing and Joss Ackland) become fixated with a macabre waxwork museum that appears to contain a model of a lady they both knew.

Sweets to the Sweet (Weird Tales Vol. 39 #10, March 1947) 

A private teacher (Nyree Dawn Porter) is perturbed by the cold and severe way a widower (Christopher Lee) treats his young daughter (Chloe Franks), even forbidding her to have a doll.

The Cloak (Unknown May 1939) 

Temperamental horror film actor Paul Henderson (Jon Pertwee) moves into the house while starring in a vampire film being shot nearby. He buys a black cloak from a peculiar shopkeeper (Geoffrey Bayldon) to use as his film character's costume. The cloak seems to instill in its wearer strange powers, something Paul's co-star (Ingrid Pitt) quickly discovers.

Cast (by segment)[edit]

"Framework"

"Method For Murder"

"Waxworks"

"Sweets to the Sweet"

"The Cloak"

Production[edit]

Vincent Price was first offered the part of Paul Henderson. He liked the script but was unable to accept because American International Pictures held an exclusive contract with him for horror films.[citation needed]

Freddie Francis was wanted for the director's chair but he had prior commitments to a film in Hollywood, California that ultimately fell through.[1]

Originally, director Peter Duffell wanted to have the title Death and the Maiden as he used Franz Schubert's composition of the same title in the film.[2] Producer Milton Subotsky insisted on The House That Dripped Blood, telling Duffell "We're in the marketplace, we have to use that title".[3] Not one drop of blood appears in the actual film.[4]

When Peter Duffell was engaged the participation of actors Lee, Cushing and Pitt had already been decided by the producers. All other actors were cast by Duffell.

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie's review of the film was mostly positive, calling it "a solid example of the Amicus horror anthology."[5] Halliwell's Film Guide described the film as "neatly made and generally pleasing despite a low level of originality in the writing."[6] Roger Greenspun of The New York Times largely panned the film saying it "moves in many directions, but never too far from the mechanics of the high school play."[4] Time Out called the stories "rough-and-ready but vigorous Grand Guignol fun."[7]

Box Office[edit]

The film was a minor success in the UK but did very well in the US.[8]

Home media[edit]

Format Audio Subtitles Region Aspect Ratio Studio Release Date
DVD-Video, NTSC English:
Stereo
English,
Spanish
Region 1 1.85:1 Lions Gate Home Entertainment 28 October 2003
DVD-Video, PAL English:
Dolby Stereo,
5.1 Dolby Surround,
DTS 5.1 Surround
none Region 2 1.85:1 Anchor Bay Entertainment 27 October 2003

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hallenbeck 2015, p. 93.
  2. ^ Hallenbeck 2015, p. 94.
  3. ^ Callaghan 2009.
  4. ^ a b Greenspun 1971.
  5. ^ Guarisco.
  6. ^ Halliwell 1981, p. 469.
  7. ^ "The House That Dripped Blood". Time Out. 
  8. ^ Bryce 2000, p. 62-70.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]