The House That Dripped Blood

Movie Information

In Brief: Quaint is the first word that comes to mind for this mild British horror film by Amicus Productions. To put it in perspective, this is a movie calling itself The House That Dripped Blood, in which we see nary a drop of the red stuff. It's a poky little horror anthology loosely — very loosely — tied to the namesake (albeit rather anemic) house. Fun in its peculiarly reticent way, but not exactly horrific.
Genre: Horror
Director: Peter Duffell
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Denholm Elliott, Jon Pertwee, Nyree Dawn Porter, Joss Ackland
Rated: PG

The first thing that should be noted about The House That Dripped Blood (1971) is that no blood is dripped. Knowing this will perhaps save disappointment along the way. Or perhaps not. The film came from Amicus Pictures, which was a kind of Hammer wanna-be, but without much in the way of a signature style. They got into the horror business in 1965 with Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, which, like this one, was an anthology film—a format they seemed fond of, since they made several. The connecting thread here holding the four episodes together is, of course, the titular house that doesn’t actually drip blood. It’s a very slender thread indeed, because the house doesn’t seem to have much to do with the the rather tepid goings on—in fact, some of the mayhem doesn’t take place in said location. The four stories promised, “Vampires! Voodoo! Vixens! Victims!” and I guess it has all three—“vixens” seems a bit of a stretch. Though it stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, it’s worth noting that the two do not appear together, which was a mistake. It’s not a bad little movie, though it feels more like a TV special than theatrical film. The very fact that its horror content is so mild may actually play in its favor, since it imbues the movie with a kind of charm. Also in its favor are the array of trendy Carnaby Street fashions on display. There are enough flamboyant ascots in this picture to warm even the heart of Peter Bogdanovich.

The Hendersonville Film Society will show The House That Dripped Blood Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.