Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors (1965)

Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Roy Castle, Max Adrian, Ann Bell
Directed by Freddie Francis
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

Five men sharing a train compartment have their fortunes told by the mysterious Dr. Schreck, who predicts each of them will have a terrifying encounter with the supernatural.

This was one of the earliest horror anthology films from Amicus, a British studio that soon made many more, most of which followed the same pattern of strangers coming together to meet a mysterious figure, who then cast each of them in tales of horror.  With very limited special effects and rather murky photography, this film's strongest asset is its cast, which includes horror stars Cushing and Lee, as well as some good supporting players such as Bernard Lee, Michael Gough and a young Donald Sutherland.  The title is a bit of a misnomer, since there is no actual "house of horrors," but a bit of dialogue explains the term is meant to describe the deck of tarot cards Schreck uses to tell the other passengers' future.

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