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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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'.
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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.
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on 13 November 2015
After many delays, it has arrived at last. Looks bloody lovely. Content is also great with virtual hour long making of, 47 minute Chris Lee doc, stills, commentary and trailer. Nice job! :)
So, I finished watching this about half an hour ago. I won't get too Techie, but for anyone interested... I watched this on a 50 inch THX Approved Panasonic Plasma, TEAC 7.1 Amp and KEF THX Certified Subwoofer. The transfer on the whole is fantastic. Colours are well saturated, detail is great and overall nice and sharp. Sometimes the picture is "Meh", but I would say that's more to do with source material and the type of film originally used (2 perf format because it could save 50% off film raw stock & processing costs), rather than the restoration. When the film begins you are presented with a "Restored by Pinewood" logo - a nice touch. The Video is AVC encoded in 1080/24p 2.35:1 at a rough average of 21.0 Mbps throughout the main feature, going as low as about 10.3 Mbps (in the opening credits). Audio is LPCM 2.0 Dual (at 1.9 Mbps). It has some surprisingly weighty LFE particularly on the Orchestral Soundtrack and the Roy Castle / Kenny Lynch Jazz Sections. Lots of lovely background noises come through such as on the train, sound of the train track, doors closing etc. I'm really impressed. The release is REGION FREE! and has optional English subtitles.

The Doco is very well put together, cuts to the chase, nice graphics, knowledgeable people, very informative and over in no time (although technically nearly an hour). Nice and colourful backdrops help keep this flowing. Jake West (Razor Blade Smile, Doghouse, Caroline Munro: Stella Star) has done a great job.

I've yet to see the Awesome Chris Lee interview, but can't wait (will update). Thoroughly recommended product!
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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
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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?
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on 20 September 2016
This review is for the Blu-ray steel book limited edition. The steel book cover features specially commissioned graphics and each copy is individually numbered on the back; only 4,000 have been produced. Inside, along with the disc, there is a small booklet which analyses the film within the horror genre together with a brief plot synopsis. The disc contains a digitally restored copy of the film by Pinewood Studios, an extensive photo gallery, a trailer and two really excellent documentaries. The quality of the film is superb; it looks as clear and fresh as if it had been made yesterday.

The irony is that for all its emphasis on horror, this film is almost without horror in terms of true shock and gore. It would be more accurate to say it is more of a chiller movie as by today’s standards the horror is slight and for the most part unconvincing. That’s not to say the film is not enjoyable. Without giving too much away, it begins with five men gradually assembling in a first class railway carriage compartment to be joined, as the train is set to depart, by Dr Schrek (Peter Cushing in a superbly underplayed and subtle performance). He drops his bag to reveal that it contains tarot cards. After some banter between the passengers, Dr Schrek reads each of their fortunes and this sets the scene for stories revolving around each passenger to be told – Werewolf, Creeping Vine, Voodoo, Disembodied Hand and Vampire. The creepiest scenes for me were some of those that featured the disembodied hand. The way it moves is genuinely unsettling. As well as Peter Cushing, there is Christopher Lee on top form, Roy Castle, a very young looking Donald Sutherland and, amongst others, cameos from jazz musician Kenny Lynch and Bernard ‘M’ Lee.

But what marks this purchase out as something rather better than just another 60’s cult horror film to be added to a viewer’s collection are the documentaries that accompany this edition. They are simply outstanding. The first is entitled ‘Houses of Cards’ by Jake West. It provides an affectionate but definitive sight into the film itself, how it came to be made and the numerous earlier horror film influences on its construct. Contributors include Jonathan Rigby, the highly regarded author on horror cinema history, and Jo Botting, Senior Curator at the BFI National Archive. This runs for an information-packed and utterly engrossing 47 mins.

If this wasn’t enough, there is a second documentary, ‘Christopher Lee – Legend of British Stage & Screen’, which is in the form of a captivating interview with the late great Sir Christopher as he recounts his early career and then his fortunes later in life as he became exposed to a new generation of viewers through his roles in the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings films. Hugely enjoyable to watch, it provides a real insight into the man himself and a bygone age of film making.

If I were reviewing just the film, I would give it four stars, but the addition of the documentaries has elevated this in entertainment terms to a solid five.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 November 2010
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...
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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.
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on 3 December 2003
The DVD version of Doctor Terror's House Of Horrors was well worth the wait. The extras are fine, even though the original film trailer is not among them. More importantly however, the DVD contains a crisp and sparkling print of the film, in it's original widescreen format. Strangely, the film's title in the opening credits is in German, with the English title in parenthesis below! The rest of the credits are in English. The film itself has held up well for nearly 40 years since it's initial release. The stories are uneven, with the voodoo segment, featuring Roy Castle, as the weakest entry. Followed by the killer vine segment featuring Bernard Lee, the original "M" from the James Bond films. The only problem with anthology films is that the better segments don't really have the time to develop and build stories and suspense as well as normal films running times allow for. My favourite segment is the last, featuring Donald Sutherland as a small-town doctor whose wife, portrayed by the memorably stunning Jennifer Jayne, is a vampire. The first story is well-done, concerning werewolves on an island in the Hebrides, although good and quite atmospheric, suffers from the short time allowed to better develop the story and build the suspense. The segment with Christopher Lee as an arrogant art critic is very good and probably the best-known and most memorable segment. Peter Cushing is excellent as "Doctor Terror" and his scenes are very well done in the connecting story that links the five separate segments together on the train. Although, I personally think a film of this type and age could be more economically priced, I certainly didn't mind paying full price for it. It's well worth it to own a quality copy on DVD of a fun and entertaining 1960s horror film that features some top-notch performances by two of the genres all-time greats. If you remember it fondly from years ago, buy it on DVD. If you've never seen it, you are really in for a treat. It is such a nice change to see a horror film with decent acting, no graphic violence, bad language or sex scenes. It is suitable for younger audiences as there is no objectionable content. The film's violence is mostly implied and off-screen. The suspenseful scenes make the film a cut above films made today that have to rely on adult content in order to "out-do" their competition. This film just wants to be entertaining without offending anyone. It succeeds. I can heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic horror at it's very best. Don't miss it!!
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on 9 December 2015
As we know the film is great and this bluray steelbook is almost perfect apart from the fact that the missing seconds of footage have not been restored to this release. It's sloppy really, as the us release by olive films has the missing footage! How did OEG miss it? I know I may sound picky, but a steelbook collectors edition, all singing a dancing, should be complete, just my opinion folks.
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