THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD
The House That Dripped Blood features a new debuting director in Peter Duffell, known for later works such as the appealing romantic comedy Experience Preferred ... But Not Essential (1983) and the tv mini-series The Far Pavilions (1984) set during the British Raj. Perhaps as a debuting director, Duffell lacks the polish that Freddie Francis, the most prolific director of Amicuss anthologies, brought. The stories are, as always, variable. The wraparound premise is much weaker than is usually the case with Amicuss anthologies, while even the title seems more lurid than usual. Duffell is at least aided by a fine score throughout.
Method for Murder has a good idea and features Denholm Elliott restraining himself to reasonable effect. It ends on a decent double twist ending, even if it is one that totally defies logic. Waxworks is the slightest of the stories, only being lifted by the always-reliable presence of Peter Cushing. The best segment is Sweets to the Sweet, which is conducted with a certain degree of malice, particularly when it comes to Chloe Franks performance that swings between innocence and evil.
The Cloak is the segment that the film is always remembered for. It features Jon Pertwee, who would later that same year become the flamboyant Oscar Wildean third incarnation of Doctor Who (1963-89, 2005 ). The segment is clearly comic in tone you can see the influence here that led to producer Milton Subotskys later entirely comic anthology The Monster Club (1980). However, Jon Pertwee, who up to that point was only known as a comedy actor, is hammy, while Peter Duffell seems undecided between whether he is conducting a serious episode or comedy and the humour falls rather limply.
Amicuss other anthology films are: Dr Terrors House of Horrors (1964), Torture Garden (1967), Asylum (1972), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973) and From Beyond the Grave (1973).
Robert Bloch was most famous for writing the novel that became the basis of Psycho (1960). His other genre scripts are:- The Cabinet of Caligari (1962), Strait-Jacket (1964), The Night Walker (1965), The Skull (1965), The Psychopath (1966), The Deadly Bees (1967), Torture Garden (1967), Asylum (1972), the tv movie The Cat Creature (1973), the tv movie The Dead Dont Die (1974), Three Dangerous Ladies (1977) and The Amazing Captain Nemo (1977).