Horrorfest Presents: Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965, Freddie Francis)


Both Amicus Productions and Freddie Francis have done better, yet I still thought Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors was pretty decent. Some of the stories could have been cut, others deserved to be turned into full length movies. Which is often how it goes, and the cast here elevates some of the weaker material.

A group of men are on a train with a mysterious doctor who tells them their futures. It’s Peter Cushing sporting a bad accent and a neat outfit, and all of his tales end in, well…I think you can figure that out. The first one, “Werewolf,” begins with Neil McCallum going back to his old family estate. I enjoyed the ending, and one clever moment, yet this story is kind of bland. Ursula Howells was really good in this one at least.

The second one features Bernard Lee who played M in the Bond movies, plus Alan Freeman and Ann Bell. “Creeping Vine” is decent enough yet has the feel of a bleaker Doctor Who episode. Still that one could have been fleshed out into a longer movie, and it would have worked better as such. The killer vine effects aren’t too bad for a low budget movie, either.

Dudes On a Train

I actually liked “Voodoo,” if only because it leans into being a cautionary tale about imperialism and stealing from other cultures. Roy Castle is a jazz musician who learns the hard way that one should not steal tunes from other people. The cool thing is his backing band is Tubby Hayes’ quintet, so they’re real actual jazz musicians. Kenny Lynch is his fellow jazz performer who spends the whole segment warning Castle not to be a fool. I wouldn’t mind someone remaking this one into a longer movie.

“Disembodied Hand” is pretty twisted, as art critic Christopher Lee and Michael Gough’s artist going at it which leads to disastrous results. Both really deserved what they got considering how they refused to put their egos aside. This was probably the best one of the bunch, and the hand itself looks really wicked.

“Vampire” features Donald Sutherland and Jennifer Jayne as happy newlyweds who move to a small village. Max Adrian is the local doctor who suspects the new bride is a vampire. While the ending is a bit obvious I still grinned anyways, and I rather enjoyed this one a lot. The movie’s finale is a bit clear to those like myself who’ve seen way too many of these anthologies, yet I didn’t mind. Viewed on Tubi, and worth a watch just because they don’t really make these types of movies anymore.

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