33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2004
Although there are many good horror anthologies on the market, this Amicus production is definately one of the best. The story consists of 5 strangers having their fortunes told on a train, by 'Dr Terror' (Peter Cushing).
The 5 segments/stories (all very different from one another) are all enjoyable to watch, although some are stronger than others. In my opinion the masterpiece is the 'disembodied hand' segment starring 'Christopher Lee' as an art critic. However, the concluding scene has to be the most memorable.
The atmospheric sets and props greatly emphasise the horror genre and the camera movement/angles, colour effect, music and other stylistic elements create a lot of suspense.
The film is also quite comical in parts, especially in the 'Voodoo' segment with Roy Castle, allowing some comic relief to the film.
The picture quality of the dvd is fantasitc and there are some good special features, including 2 commentaries (one of which is superb for fans of this genre).
If you are looking for a good old fashioned horror film (with a good strong cast), then I can highly recommend 'Dr Terrors House of Horrors'.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2010
This was one of the great cinema outings for youngsters in the 60s. When it was shown on TV in the old TV format and in black and white it didn't look so good, and criticisms were made of the special effects, especially the malicious vine episode which was my favourite. It looked great in the cinema, and in widescreen as here it looks great again. The film benefits from terrific colour photography and great film making. The only criticism I have is that the image as the credits roll up at the end was blurred on the DVD copy I bought, but the film itself is imaculate and splendid. This is an old favourite from when horror films were fun and satisfied as art.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2011
A compilation of five short stories consisting of Vampires, Werewolves, Creeping Vines, Voodoo and a disembodied hand. This was the first of a series of movies of this kind from Amicus Productions.
Set on a train five passengers encounter a mysterious 'Dr Schreck' who proceeds to tell each passenger their future via the Tarot cards. And so the cards are dealt and we the viewer see what is about to happen to each individual. This was a good horror movie for its time (1965) and had an X rating, today I see a PG rating printed on the DVD. Don't worry if the kids are around when you are watching this as it may only manage a giggle, they have probably encountered more horror on their X box or PS3 machine.
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee head the cast, which probably lured the general public into the cinema. A supporting cast of Neil McCallum, Donald Sutherland, Roy Castle, Alan Freeman ('Hello Pop Pickers') and the great Michael Gough. All five stories rounding off a good 90 minute movie.
In those days the dialogue meant a lot and it shows. Cushing and Lee obviously made this while on a break from Hammer studios. To review this movie negatively in comparison to what we have today on our screens ie 'Freddie Kreuger 6', 'The Hills Have Eyes' (ugghh) would be grossly unfair, as todays audiences seem to want blood first, dialogue later. 'Dr. Terrors House Of Horrors' obviously paid off as it then was instrumental in urging Amicus Productions to produce more of the same, 'The House That Dripped Blood', 'Crypt Of Horror', 'Asylum' etc. This one is mainly for Cushing/Lee fans in particular and for the nostalgic types. You certainly wont have any nightmares....Good Fun
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is a fun movie.. well acted.. directed.. designed and with a good plot and script. Don't forget it's over 40 years old though, so don't go expecting "Saw10" (God forbid). It's good to have a decent print in the correct format too. So as compilation films go... this goes quite well... and if the evil vine etc look a tiny bit "ham" well so be it.... This is a camp classic. Better than average though...And Peter C. is always good value...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The film itself is a mixed bag: A compendium of horror stories, some good, one or two rather weak, linked together superbly and with great atmosphere by Peter Cushing as the mysterious Dr Terror. The Donald Sutherland vampire episode, the werewolf episode with virtual unknown Neil McCallum and the severed hand story starring Christopher Lee are the most successful, where an amusing but otherwise dull voodoo story with Roy Castle and a risible man-eating plant tale with DJ Alan Freeman are not pulled off so well.
Picture is clear and lush for much of the film, restored to its original Cinemascope format. There are a few glitches, however, and the end-titles are of vastly inferior quality, as if they'd been filmed off a TV set with a camcorder. Bizarre.
It is the DVD extras that make this an eminently worthwhile purchase. One commentary features an interview with director Freddie Francis; a second has horror-film historian Allan Bryce in an endearing, trivia-packed introduction to Amicus, Hammer studios' only serious rival in the British horror-film industry of the 1960s.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2011
It would not be entirely incorrect to state that this movie has long-standing connections with my psyche. Many-many evenings ago, one of our seniors had recounted the stories included in this portmanteau movie, and along with many others I had also got 'hooked' to the potent cocktail of black comedy & thoroughly traditional horror. The basic concept behind this film is simple: 5 strangers come together in a train compartment, and are accompanied by a mysterious man, who tells their 'supernatural' destinies, which might just happen. The first protagonist (an architect) encounters an werewolf. The second person faces the menace of a creeping vine. The third (a musician) learns why one should not steal music from others, esp. where a "voodoo" god is involved. The fourth (a doctor) comes across vampires. And the final (an art critic) gets punished by the severed hand of an artist whom he had harmed. The stories are told in a modern tongue-in-cheek form, which neither grosses out, nor goes into the "intensely psychological" mold. The stories are "fun" and compel the viewer to look for more such portmanteau films. Most importantly, the present version (as part of British classics DVD-s) are good to watch, although a little short on the informative features front. Recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2003
I first remember seeing this film as a child and quite a few years passed before owning a copy on VHS video. It would come on t.v. late at night on very rare occasions before that. Now, I have just purchased it on DVD and eagerly look forward to seeing it again after several years, especially as it is now available in the format in which it was first originally released. My favourite segment is the last one with Donald Sutherland as a doctor whose wife is a vampire. My main interest in this segment is in the extremely lovely actress Jennifer Jayne, who portrays Sutherland's wife. She is a real stunner and it is a real pity her part is relatively small in the film. She did a few other films, but none as memorable as this one. Peter Cushing is excellent as "Doctor Terror". The segment with Christopher Lee is memorable, also. The weakest segment is the one concerning the "killer vines", which also features Bernard Lee, the original "M" in the James Bond films. The first segment, concerning werewolves, would have been better in a longer format. Overall, it is a satisfying and fun mid-1960s horror film. I can highly recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2014
DR TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORROR'S
is another film anthology movie from 1965 released by Amicus films
goes for about 90mins
Peter cushing a German passenger on board a Train from London to Bradley
his name is Dr schreck which means Dr. Terror
5 men enter this carriage and Join this Dr. while on the Journey to Bradley
Dr. Terror pulls out his Tarrot cards and begins to read out Destinies for all 5 men
and so begin 5 stories of terror and Horror
the 1st story is about a Werewolf which concerns passenger Jim Dawson played by Actor Neil McCallum
the 2nd is about a Creeping vine which concerns Bill rogers played by Actor Alan freeman
the 3rd is about Voodoo which concerns passenger Biff bailey played by Actor Roy castle
the 4th is a Disembodied Hand
which concerns passenger Franklyn marsh played by Christopher lee
and the last story is Vampire which concerns Dr. Bob carroll played by Actor Donald sutherland
there is also an Epilogue just before the credits role up
which i must admit was a shock ending, hell of a twist ending
just after all 5 readings are made all the passengers are shocked and ask the Doctor if their Destinies are avoidable
the Dr says the only way the Destinies are avoidable is by Dying first
and when the train stops the 5 men find out they are Dead already when they get of the train onto the platform
having already perished in a Train wreck and Dr. schreck is Death
Hell of a Good suspense thriller i must say, Directed by Freddie francis, produced by Milton subotsky
Anchor bay has given this film special treatment for sure
a new Widescreen transfer is Given and does look pretty Good in widescreen with top/bottom black bars
but the picture quality does not look very clean there's still some Grain
Anchor bay also given 2 new Audio options
a 5.1 Digital surround sound track and the old Mono sound mix
the 5.1 surround sound mix does sound very Good a big boost in the Audio quality
there's only 2 extras
2 Audio commentaries, one by Freddie francis and another commentary track which i've forgotten who it was
the Freddie francis commentary is very informative, he talks about the casting
and where the shots were filmed, he also talks about the special effects in the film
especially the Werewolf story, on how the werewolf is not shown much at all
and that's due to the limited special effects at the time
Freddie talks a Great deal about that
he talks about the Creeping vine story aswell, and the Disembodied hand
very informative commentary
a Stills Gallery & Theatrical trailer are added aswell
to bad there's no interview with Freddie francis but his commentary is pretty Good anyway
the picture quality would look fantastic in Blu-ray for sure there would not be much Grain if any at all
plus a new 5.1 master audio mix would be given to
but don't hold your breath it would be a miracle if this film gets blu-ray release
for now this Anchor bay release is the version to get for sure
i gave it at least 4 stars based on the informative commentary
and the chilling stories
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2007
The cast of this film alone is utterly incredible. No film before or since has brought together Donald Sutherland, Peter Cushing, Alan Freeman (not 'arf, pop pickers!), Christopher Lee, Kenny Lynch and Roy Castle - it really is a record-breaker!
This was the first of many films from the Amicus studio (the only serious British rival to Hammer for a while) in which several shorter horror stories are held together by a connecting thread. The titles were often poor - here, for example, there is no actual House of Horrors, it's just what he calls his Tarot cards. Never mind the titles, though: what a fun film!
As always with such films, some of the individual stories are pretty ropy - Alan Freeman's sinister shrub being a case in point...though the Donald Sutherland vampire story and Christopher Lee as a snide art critic being menaced by a suicide's severed hand are worth a viewing on their own. As for Peter Cushing as Dr Terror himself, has there ever been a better, more dignified horror actor?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2010
Meeting Peter Cushing's mild-mannered Tarot card reader on a long train journey, five travellers have their fortunes read, with each discovering that a grisly destiny awaits him; Neil McCallum is set to fall foul of a werewolf's curse, Alan Freeman (yes, the DJ) will be plagued by man-eating plant life, Roy Castle will become involved with a West Indies voodoo cult, Christopher Lee will be haunted by the disembodied hand of a dead enemy, and a young Donald Sutherland will marry a vampire. Eventually, the group attempt to prevent the unhappy ends that have been predicted for them, but discover that fate is not so easy to cheat...
The first in the profitable series of `portmanteau' chillers from Amicus (a rival production company to Hammer, mainly notable for soft-pedalling on the sex and gore content that Hammer usually tried to forefront), 1965's Dr. Terror's House of Horrors is a reasonably well put together effort, with efficient if unremarkable direction from Freddie Francis and reliable performances from the main stars; however, the film's storyline is almost stiflingly arthritic (the script was, as usual for Amicus, by producer Milton Subotsky), combining five tedious `horror movie 1:1' vignettes with a predictable framing story. Of all the episodes, that in which Lee is tormented by Michael Gough's severed hand is the only one that really holds the attention, primarily due to the game characterisation of Lee at his most irritable, but the story itself is hokey at best. Given no opportunity to show the gift for creating off-the-wall characters that he would shortly display with his star-making contributions to The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, and Kelly's Heroes, Sutherland is saddled with the most boring episode, which unfortunately also comes last in the running order. Castle's vignette is played mostly for laughs (as you would expect - after all, it showcases Roy Castle), Freeman's story is stupidly illogical, and McCallum's episode, though reasonably atmospheric, is nothing more than a twenty-minute riff on the Universal Wolf Man flicks of the 1940s. To be honest, the best reason I can give you for seeing this film is easy to sum up in just two words - Peter Cushing. As the unshaven Dr. Schreck, with his rag-and-bone man's wardrobe and soft German accent, he (admittedly) has the showiest role in the film, and he makes the most of it in his typically effortless style. But Cushing's creepy turn aside, this is a timid film (even for the mid 1960s - note the current 'PG' certificate), that does not represent either the best of British horror movies, nor of Amicus' beloved `portmanteau' format.