41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2003
If you're unfamiliar with this movie, don't be fooled by the title. There's no gore, yet you won't be bored. This flick entertains you the old-fashioned way: with atmospheric sets, solid acting, and a mood-enhancing musical score. As you might expect with a screenplay from the legendary Robert Bloch, all of the stories are well-crafted. The first three tales are pretty heavy, so Mr. Bloch provides a little light-relief in the final segment, where the rubber-faced Mr. Pertwee and the buxom Ms. Pitt get to enjoy themselves and camp things up a bit. I was especially happy with the transfer from video to DVD. The picture is bright and crisp and I could spot many details on DVD that were hidden by the murkiness of the old VHS print. Likewise, the sound is nice and clear...especially important in a film like this that features some very creative sound effects. Some horror film anthologies mix in some weak stories with the strong, but this movie is a treat all the way through. You'll be treated to a spooky house, thunderstorms, flickering fireplaces, and lots of dust and cobwebs....but no blood.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2010
"The House That Dripped Blood", has always been my absolute favourite of the rich output of horror anthologies that Amicus Productions turned out in the 1960's and early 1970's. Often mistaken for Hammer Studios productions because of the frequent crossover of casts and similiar look, Amicus' speciality were these multi story horror tales tied together by a framing story. Here the story revolves around a suitably creepy old house in the countryside just outside London that seems to have a strange effect on its succession of occupants. The framing story of this piece concerns the mysterious disappearance of the latest tenant, famed horror movie actor Paul Henderson (Jon Pertwee)who was renting the house while shooting his latest horror epic "Curse of the Bloodsuckers", and it revolves around the police investigation carried out by Scotland Yard's Det. Insp. Holloway (John Bennett). Along the way the inspector is introduced to the eerie history of the house and the strange fate of each of its occupants. Four excellent stories are told in flashback and each is highly entertaining in it's own unique way with great atmosphere, first rate casts and with themes including deranged stranglers, haunted wax museums, witchcraft and vampires. In short it is a horror fans smorgasbord sure to entertain.
Story One is "Method for Murder", and revolves around famed murder mystery writer Charles Hillyer (Denholm Elliot), who during a period of acute writers block takes up residence in the house with his wife Alice. Charles creates a sinister main character in his new novel called Dominic who is a deranged strangler who laughs out loud as he murders his victims. As the novel progresses Charles begins to question his sanity as he actually begins seeing Dominic in the house or just outside the window. Is Dominic real? Or is Charles going insane? All is revealed in the eerie twist at the finale.
Story Two is "Waxworks", and stars the great Peter Cushing as retired Stockbroker Philip Grayson who takes out a lease on the house to get away from the fast life and many painful memories in London. While visiting the local village he comes across an old wax museum and to his horror finds one of the wax exhibits depicting Salome is an exact likeness of his old lost love. Visited by old friend Neville (Joss Ackland), Philip finds his friend also drawn to the wax figure. The museums strange proprietor (Woolfe Morris) relates the sinister story behind the wax figure and the hold she has on men. After Neville goes missing after visiting the museum Philip learns to his own detriment the deadly secret of the waxworks museum.
Story Three is the very eerie "Sweets to the Sweet, which finds widower John Reid (Christopher Lee) and his seemingly angelic young daughter Jane (Chloe Franks) moving into the house. John has an unexplained fear of his daughter and is intent on keeping her isolated from other children of her age. He hires a nanny/teacher Anne Norton (Nyree Dawn Porter),to tutor Jane at home. Anne dislikes John's parenting methods however first appearances in this case can be very deceptive as too late Anne discovers the real reason for John's overly harsh treatment of his daughter and the real cause of John's stabbing heart pains with sweet Jane not being everything she appears to be.
Story Four is "The Cloak", a real favourite of mine and finds the latest residence of this cursed house to be the famous horror actor Paul Henderson who to his own detriment finds himself attracted to the Gothic nature of the dwelling. He is currently starring in a dire horror effort titled "Curse of the Blood Suckers", and fed up with appearing in "Z" grade efforts goes in search of his own authentic vampire cloak. Unfortunately he finds it and soon begins to discover the sinister power of this mysterious cloak. His beautiful leading lady, the buxon Carla Lynde (Ingrid Pitt) also proves to be not as innocent as she first seems and eventually she reveals her true identity and real purpose to a terrified Paul who pays dearly for his quest for "authenticity" in his acting roles.
I personally love everything about this horror effort from its great title, to superbly spooky haunted house set to great cast all ideally cast in often surprisingly non typical roles. Written by the celebrated Robert Bloch who penned "Psycho", special mention must also be made of the wonderfully mood enchancing musical score courtesy of Michael Dress which adds so much to the individual stories. All four segments take a different approach in their storytelling and are of equal interest. Obviously with themes such as vampirism, witchcraft, voodoo and characters out of a book coming to life the proceedings are a splendid showcase for the talents involved. The cast are all given wonderful showcases for their talents in both the large and smaller roles and Christopher Lee has the distinction of suffering probably the most horrible death of any of the characters in the stories. Story four has strong elements of humour in it which surprisingly works well within it's vampire subject matter. Remembered mainly as television's Dr. Who, Jon Pertwee is perfectly cast as the bombastic actor Paul Henderson who's disappearance sparks off the investigation around this house that literally seems to drip blood on all who live there.
Amicus Productions were expert in creating these horror anthologies and excelled in their other big effort the next year in "Tales From The Crypt", however this effort rightly takes it's place in the haunted house hall of fame and is essential viewing for all horror buffs like myself that enjoy these multi story horror tales set in creepy mist shrouded old mansions hidden away from the outside world. Make sure you visit "The House That Dripped Blood", soon but remember your stay may be a short one so enjoy it while it lasts!
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2007
Don't be put off by the rather arch title (the director wanted to call it 'Death and the Maiden')...this isn't actually about a house that drips blood. There was an episode of Hammer House of Horror much, much later about a house which DID drip blood, but that's by the by.
This is one of those deliciously creepy but not really very gory old compendiums (or should that be compendia?) by Amicus, the studio which also gave us Dr Terror's House of Horrors, Tales from the Crypt and From Beyond the Grave. It is scripted by Robert Bloch who is best known for writing Psycho, which eventually became the Hitchcock film.
All are present and correct: Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are excellent as ever. Jon Pertwee provides comic relief but never lets you forget how slick an actor he was. The supporting cast is superb.
Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. I wish they'd made more!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt - some of Hammer's biggest names are all present and correct in this non-Hammer film. An Amicus production and in their best tradition of portmanteau horror films, this I think is the best one of theirs I've seen.
The linking thread this time is a policeman's and an estate agent's dealings with a property available for rent, which seems to have rather sinister effects on its tenants. Despite the rather sensational title this is a clever, creepy and bloodless horror. There are tales of witchcraft, vampires and plain old murder in the separate stories. Each is strong and well written and acted, though Denholm Elliott's opening tale has the best twist, and Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt's closing story is the most entertaining.
Jon Pertwee in particular puts in an entertaining performance. Filmed whilst he was appearing in Doctor Who, his lines include a number of in-jokes, including something about the ignomy of working in television, and a reference to the current actor portraying Dracula not being as good as Bela Lugosi (of course, his co star in this film, Mr. Lee). This tale, set at the studio where this film was made, sees Mr Pertwee's costume giving him a better understanding of his role than he planned.
All in all very enjoyable. It's creepy, atmospheric and very entertaining. Well worth a look.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2003
Don't be misled by the sensational title (or awful DVD cover art); this is a very bloodless portmanteau horror movie from Amicus studios, but is none the worse for that. The silly title was at the insistance of the films producers, and very much against the wishes of the director Peter Duffel. Indeed the BBFC initially gave this film an 'A' certificate but the distributors insisted on an 'X' fearing that such a mild certification would be the proverbial (vampire's?) kiss of death at the box office.
This is probably the best of the Amicus horror movies, thanks to imaginative direction (Peter Duffel would later make the superb 'Caught on a Train' for the BBC, written by Stephen Poliakoff) and a bevvy of thespian talent. As usual the quality of the tales varies (the first being the weakest, the last being the most entertaining) and the linking story is a little weak.
The DVD itself is good; print quality is acceptable (a few nicks and scratches here and there) but pretty good for a film of this age and type. The extras include a featurette and an above-average commentary from the director. Recommended to these who like their horror films from the 70s with imagination rather than lashings of grue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2015
Anthology or portmanteau films as some call them can be rather haphazard and we all have our favourites whilst dismissing others. I'm quite happy watching most of them - Dr Terror's House of Horrors, From beyond the Grave, Tales from the Crypt, etc but only recently have I treated myself to The House That dripped Blood. And it's now one of my favourites. Even the tongue-in-cheek final story with the debonair Jon Pertwee keeps on the right side of campy horror and the whole collection is nicely held together by the police investigation. Doesn't do much for estate agents though...
on 21 December 2014
One of many chilling Atmospheric thrillers from Amicus films
the title THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD was a marketing idea by Producer Milton subotsky
obviously there is no blood in this film, it's an Atmospheric suspense thriller, not a Horror
the Director of the film Peter Duffel wanted to call the film Death and the maiden
but obviously the producer won the vote for the title the film is called now
any fan of Amicus films knows the plot to this film already
this review is about the this new Anchor bay release
the film itself has been Digital remastered in a new Widescreen ratio, not sure what the ratio is
it doesn't say it on the back cover i guess it's 1:85:1 but i'm only guessing
but the picture quality does look better than the old VHS tape ofcourse
new Audio options have been given aswell
5.1 Digital surround sound mix plus the original mono mix aswell
i tell you if i had to choose, i'd choose the new 5.1 mix, it sounds Great it boosts the Audio quality for sure
Anchor bay have added new special features
a new making of featurette which only goes for 17mins,
new interviews with Director Peter Duffel,Ingrid pitt, child actor Chloe franks and few other Actors to
who give their recollections on making the film
there is also a new Audio commentary by Director Peter Duffel & Johnathon rigby
the Theatrical trailer & stills Gallery is included on this DVD aswell
this film would look even better with a HD blu-ray transfer for sure if it ever gets released on blu-ray
but don't hold your breath i don't think it's going to happen
but if it did happen i'd be surprised if these new extras will be carried over
but for now this new Anchor bay release will have to do
5 stars for sure, worth the money
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2012
The House that Dripped Blood is a good devilish and stylish film from Amicus. Including sterling performances from horror masters Lee and Cushing, we also have Jon Pertwee and Denholm Elliot in attendence.
This is a creepy little anthology film and despite the title there is little or no blood to be found.
Instead we are treated to some wonderfully chilling tales.
This isn't the greatest film from this rich era in British horror but it certaintly runs along very smoothly.
on 6 December 2009
The House That Dripped Blood  [DVD]Third in the series Amicus portmanteau horror series, incorporating four stories by the author of `Psycho', Robert Bloch. The film also marks Peter Duffell's debut as a director. Three of the episodes are rough and ready but great fun, involving Denholm Elliott as a novelist confronted by the mad - strangler created for his tale. Peter Cushing as a retired stockbroker whose head lands up in the hands of a wax - works Salome, image of his long lost love and Vincent Price as a veteran star of horror movies who finds himself thirsting for blood. The fourth story in this collection is a marvelous mood piece of chilling horror about a lonely, angelic child, Chloë Franks who has been condemned to neglect, by her widowed father, Christopher Lee. Also starring Joanna Dunham, Jos Ackland, Nyree Dawn Porter, John Bennett and Ingrid Pitt, the much used `Horror Beauty' of the time.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2008
I think you probably need to be of a certain age to appreciate this kind of film as I'm sure a large part of the enjoyment is down to nostalgia. I first saw this film, late at night, around thirty years ago as a boy. At the time, I admit, it did scare me, but then I'm a sensitive soul. Viewed today it is very tame when compared to modern offerings. However given the choice I'd opt for this type of film every time - not an annoying American teenager in sight. Yes, as a previous reviewer said they really don't make them like this anymore, unfortunately.
This being the 1970's gentlemen wear cravats, drive Jaguars on uncongested roads and visit waxwork museums on a whim.
The cast is excellent, not just Lee and Cushing but fine supporting turns from Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Jon Pertwee and Geoffrey Bayldon.
I won't spoil it by describing the story but will say it is of the portmanteau variety - four shortish storys linked by, and contained within, another story. Excellent for those with a short attention span like me, and if you don't like one story there will be another along in twenty minutes or so. However in my opinion there isn't a dud amongst them and this is Amicus at its best.
Give it a go and if you enjoy it there's more of the same from Amicus in the form of Tales from the Crypt, Asylum, From Beyond the Grave, Vault of Horror, Torture Garden and Dr Terror's House of Horrors.