Amicus films were a company in the UK which in the late 60s and early 70s tried to compete with Hammer Films in the then successful horror movie releases.
They had a love of anthology films with multiple stories and in 1971 set out to make the first A certificate horror movie. In the 1970s there was a U, A, AA (14 and over) and X (over 18s only). Most at that time horror movies were given an X certificate because of the subject matter.
The House That Dripped Blood has four stories, enveloped by an estate agent who rented the house to various tenants. The first involves a novelist who invents a strangler for his latest novel who seems to come to life, the second has a retired stockbroker who is bewitched by a waxwork of his long lost love, the third has a parent of a young child who tries to keep her away from civilisation as he knows her deadly secret and the last has a veteran horror movie actor buying a cloak to bring authenticity to his latest vampire role but finds it has its own powers.
What sets this film apart from many of its rivals is the fun of the stories and the fantastic cast which include the usual Peter Cushing and Chjristopher Lee but also greats like Denholm Elliot, Jon Pertwee, Nyree Dawn Porter and Geoffrey Bayldon. The film cannot rely on blood or gore so are in most cases very suspenseful, especially the first tale and the stories are well written by Robert Bloch and are a great homage to classic horror.
The Blu ray released by Second Sight Films has a nice remastered image with grain present giving a very filmic image. Black levels are not as dark as you would expect but detail is very sharp. Audio has a original mono track which serves the film fine. Some good extras include two audio commentaries the first featuring director Peter Duffell and author Jonathan Rigby, the second with film historian and author Troy Howarth. You also have a 10-minute interview with second assistant director, Mike Higgins. This interview is followed by “A Rated Horror Film“, a 17-minute featurette featuring interviews with director Peter Duffell and actors Geoffrey Bayldon, Ingrid Pitt and Chloe Franks. Trailers are included as well as 17 minutes worth of vintage radio ads for the film.
A great release and a film that shows you don’t have to have blood and gore to enjoy a well made horror movie.
FILM – 8 PICTURE – 8 AUDIO – 6 EXTRAS – 8