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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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

House Of The Damned (1963)

Starring Ron Foster, Merry Anders, Richard Crane, Erika Peters, Dal McKennon
Directed by Maury Dexter
(actor & director credits courtesy

An architect and his wife are hired to survey a creepy abandoned house on the outskirts of a small town, and stay there for the weekend, but soon discover that they're not alone in the house.

Writer Harry Spalding and producer/director Maury Dexter each made some memorable low-budget chillers for 20th Century Fox, and this is one of my favorites, in which the two collaborate to create an atmospheric film with a surprise in store for the audience, which some may guess and some may not.  Regardless of whether you do or not, the actors create likable characters, there's excellent photography from John Nickolaus Jr. employing shadow and tight closeups to sustain the mystery, and Henry Vars' score contributes to the suspenseful mood.  Keep an eye open for Richard Kiel, who turns in one of his most effective appearances before menacing James Bond.

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