THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1971), directed by Peter Duffell (BBC2 Playouse) and written by Robert Bloch (Psycho), is a horror anthology that weaves together four stories surrounding a mysterious house in England. The film stars Christopher Lee (Horror of Dracula), Peter Cushing (The Curse of Frankenstein), Nyree Dawn Porter (From Beyond the Grave), Ingrid Pitt (The Wicker Man) and Denholm Elliott (Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Having not been familiar with this film, I went in pretty open-minded and I’m happy to report that THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD did not disappoint. The story centers around a strange and inexplicable house in England that has seen its fair share of tragedies. After a mysterious death occurs, Scotland Yard investigators look into four deadly, yet puzzling, occurrences that took place at this doomed manor. The film is broken up into these four vignettes that include a novelist who begins to unravel when the villain of his book appears in flesh and blood, a wax museum where two men find themselves obsessed with one of the figures, a father who hides his daughter from the outside world – for good reasons, and an actor who purchases a cloak that may or may not turn him into a vampire.
What I loved so much about this film was how each of these stories blended so well into the next but still managed to stay unique. Each story was acted out brilliantly and it was great to see such legendary (horror) actors on the screen such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. But what really sold me on the anthology as a whole were the stories. I thoroughly enjoyed each narrative that was crafted as each story was completely different from the last. With a runtime of only 102 minutes I was incredibly impressed with how writer Robert Bloch was able to incorporate each tale while still weaving the overall arc of the investigation from Scotland Yard into the film. It seemed almost seamless in its execution and it made me wish that more anthology films were able to accomplish what THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD was able to.
Since this is a Scream Factory release, you know you are going to get quality. This is the first time the film has been released on Blu-ray and it looks spectacular but still has that slight grainy quality which shows its age. There are also a lot of great special features which includes an insightful audio commentary by film historian/author Troy Howarth as well as an interview with second assistant director Mike Higgins. My favorite special features has to be the vintage featurette which features interviews with director Peter Duffell and actors Geoffrey Bayldon, Ingrid Pitt and Chloe Franks. These special features really give viewers an insight into the film and the time period in which the film was made, something that I found to be extremely fascinating.
Overall, I would recommend THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD to any and all horror fans as well as those who have an appreciation for older, lesser known (at least to me), films. If anything, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD makes me want to seek out more films that are similar in vein as I loved everything from the production and set design, to the directing, the acting, and the overall story. Cinephiles will find a lot to love with this film so don’t miss out on getting your copy, which is now available at ShoutFactory.com.
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