Saturday, February 2, 2013

House Of The Black Death (1964)

Starring Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine, Andrea King, Tom Drake, Dolores Faith
Directed by Harold Daniels
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

The head of a coven of Satan worshippers seeks to wrest control of his family's wealth from his brother, who is determined to oppose him.

This one's pretty much a stinker, which is a shame, because actors Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Carradine, who had headlined many a quality horror film between them, deserve a much finer showcase of their talents.  To cast them as warring brothers with supernatural powers, a tremendous hook for their fans, and then afford them virtually no scenes together, is almost incomprehensible.  That is far from the film's only flaw, which also suffers from a vague plot and haphazard editing, including a pointless routine by a nubile dancer which is cut into the film three different times, cutting away from the action and making little sense.  Another scene of a man's transformation into a werewolf is poorly cut as well.

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