Friday, 24 May 2019

Horror Review: Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors (1965)


Aboard a British train, mysterious fortune teller Dr. Schreck uses tarot cards to read the futures of five fellow passengers.

I have a real fondness for these old movies, they're like a time capsule of a certain era that will never be recaptured.


The problem with these films though is that as the years roll by some of these films get lost in the shuffle and its a real shame, there have been an abundance of great features that this happens to, but for those who will go digging for them you'll be in for a treat when you discover them.

When it comes to this you have to remember that we're talking about a 54 year old film. There seems to be something about these features that no matter how old they get, they seem to 
lose none of their entertainment value. Sure they are dated and often considered cheesy but there's no denying that they're fun to watch.


The films casting is absolutely immense, first of all you have the highly iconic duo of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, this pairing has never disappointed me. You'll also spot others such as Roy Castle, Frank Forsyth, Donald Sutherland, Isla Blair Michael Gough and more. It reads like a who's who of the time.

The anthology style of the film plays out perfectly, with each character hearing about what fate has in store for them. Each segment is different from the others but each one is as entertaining. There's no such thing as gore or anything like that in these features, it's all about the storytelling and I love that.


"Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors" is a perfect example of what Amicus Productions were capable of, like I said it has dated but films like these make for great Sunday afternoon viewing, or even a cold, dark, rainy night.


If you want to see the "Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors" trailer then just click on the video below:



Miscellaneous facts about the film:

The first of the "portmanteau" horror movies to be made by Amicus Productions. According to co-Producer Milton Subotsky, he was inspired to write a multi-story horror movie by his admiration for Dead of Night (1945), which used a similar format.

Dr Schreck's deck is the 1930 Paul Marteau version of the "Marseille" Tarot, based on the 1760 woodblocks by Nicolas Conver. The industrialization of printing in the 1880s meant that greens and sky-blues were eliminated as designs were limited to four colours: red, blue, yellow, and black.

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland was paid one thousand pounds sterling for his role.

Theatrical movie debut of Roy Castle (Biff Bailey).

Acker Bilk was hired to play Biff Bailey, but had a heart attack and was replaced by Roy Castle.

Faith Kent and Phoebe Nicholls were real-life mother and daughter, although they appear in different segments of this movie.

Roy Castle buys a packet of cigarettes and immediately puts them in his pocket this is because Roy Castle was a life long non smoker. Ironically, he died of lung cancer.

Tubby Hayes was booked to write the score, but did not write anything and so was replaced by Elisabeth Lutyens.

8 years later, two of the film's stars (Christopher Lee and Kenny Lynch) would end up on the cover of Paul McCartney and Wings' hit album 'Band on the Run' along with the three members of Wings and four other well known names.

When Roy Castle's character "Biff Bailey", is seen running in fear down a street, he passes a cinema with a poster of Peter Cushing on it actually advertising Dr. Terror's House of Horrors.

According to Kenny Lynch, Donald Sutherland disliked this film immensely.

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