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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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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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