Freddie Francis1961-1970HorrorUnited Kingdom

Freddie Francis – Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965)

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965)

Five strangers board a train and are joined by a mysterious fortune teller who offers to read their Tarot cards. Five separate stories unfold: An architect returns to his ancestral home to find a werewolf out for revenge; a doctor suspects his new wife is a vampire; an intelligent vine takes over a house; a jazz musician plagiarizes music from a voodoo ceremony; a pompous art critic is pursued by a disembodied hand.

Peter Cushing stars in Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (1965) as a mysterious fortune teller called Dr Terror who reads the tarot cards to tell the future of five fellow passengers aboard a British train. Unfortunately, they are all about to be victims of supernatural death in director Freddie Francis’s enjoyable, slickly handled, and very popular 1965 British chiller revival of the old horror compendium form of separate stories with a linking device.

Cushing brings dignity and depth to his down-at-heel Dr Schreck (Dr Death) type character, Christopher Lee gives a gleeful account of Franklyn Marsh, an opinionated art critic hounded by an artist’s amputated hand in segment 4 Disembodied Hand, and a youngish Donald Sutherland (already 30 in 1965) has campy fun as vampire Jennifer Jayne’s husband Dr Bob Carroll in segment 5 Vampire.

Dr Terror’s House of Horrors is a considerable success that is marred only by one single weak story – the voodoo item, segment 3 Voodoo, with Roy Castle as Biff Bailey, a jazz musician suffering a curse after copying voodoo tunes. The good script is by Amicus Productions producers Milton Subotsky and Max J Rosenberg, spearheading the era of the Amicus portmanteau movie.

The downside is that it was made very cheaply, for around £105,000, so its productions values are low, the special effects (by Ted Samuels) are negligible, and the art direction (by Bill Constable) is modest. And time has not necessarily been very kind to the movie, exposing some deficiencies in the acting (with some of the actors going the ripe over-acting route) and in the film editing (Thelma Connell).

Also in the cast are Ursula Howells, Peter Madden, Katy Wild and Neil McCallum as Jim Dawson in segment 1 Werewolf.

Also in the cast are disc jockey Alan Freeman as Bill Rogers, Ann Bell as Ann Rogers, Phoebe Nicholls as Carol Rogers, Bernard Lee as Hopkins and Jeremy Kemp in segment 2 Creeping Vine.

Also in the cast are Kenny Lynch, Christopher Carlos, Harold Lang and The Tubby Hayes Quintet in segment 3 Voodoo. Tubby Hayes is the composer of the jazz music and Kenny Lynch is the composer of the songs, with Philip Martell as the conductor and composer of additional music.

Also in the cast are Michael Gough as Eric Landor, Isla Blair, Pauline Chamberlain, Judy Cornwell and Frank Forsyth in segment 4 Disembodied Hand.

Also in the cast are Max Adrian as Dr Blake, Laurie Leigh, Al Mulock and Irene Richmond in segment 5 Vampire.

Dr Terror’s House of Horrors is directed by Freddie Francis, runs 98 minutes, is made by Amicus Productions, is released by Regal Films International (1965) (UK) and Paramount Pictures (1965) (US), is written by Milton Subotsky and Max J Rosenberg, is shot by Alan Hume, is produced by Joe Vegoda (executive producer), Milton Subotsky and Max J Rosenberg, is scored by Elisabeth Lutyens and is designed by Bill Constable.

It scored strongly at the box office, spawning many others from Amicus and Francis like Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), Tales That Witness Madness (1973), and From Beyond the Grave (1974). Francis’s 1967 Torture Garden, The House That Dripped Blood (1971) and Asylum (1972) are the three Amicus portmanteau films written by Robert Bloch and based on his own stories.

Castle and Cushing reunited for Dr Who and the Daleks and Legend of the Werewolf.

— Derek Winnert

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)

Container: Matroska
Runtime: 1 h 38 min
Size: 2.34 GiB
Codec: x264
Resolution: 1024x436
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Frame rate: 23.976 fps
Bit rate: 3 000 kb/s
BPP: 0.280
#1: English 1.0ch FLAC @ 218 kb/s (Main Audio)
#2: English 2.0ch AC-3 @ 192 kb/s (Commentary with director Freddie Francis and moderator Jonathan Sothcott)’s.House.of.Horrors.1965.BDRIP.VS.4K.576p.x264.FLAC.KJNU.mkv

Subtitles:English SDH

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