Is Dripping Blood Covered Under my Homeowners or do I Need a Rider?
The House That Dripped Blood (1971): 5 out of 10: An Amicus anthology consisting of four short stories from Robert Bloch wrapped around a police and well a realtor investigation into the titular house.
Episode one “Method For Murder”
Episode one “Method For Murder”. A horror writer’s creation comes to life and attacks him during a bout of writer’s block. I may be mistaken, but I am pretty sure that the House That Dripped Blood appears in the Stephen King non-fiction horror treatise Danse Macabre under the chapter “Where I Get all My Ideas”.
This is a decent entry marred only by the old fifties chestnut of the dull Freudian psychiatrist and a really bad make-up job on Tom Adams looking like a silent movie antagonist.
Episode two: “Waxworks”
Episode two: “Waxworks”: A gay stockbroker “Peter Cushing” retired from the city rents the titular house to enjoy some gardening and classical music. An old friend “Joss Ackland” stops by unexpectedly and a tension from their shared past rises up, consuming them both.
I understand that this is a horror anthology made on the cheap, but the character development in this episode is simply non-existent. Apparently, we are led to believe that both men are obsessed with the same woman from many years ago. Since they refuse to talk about it themselves we are meant to fill in the blanks. When a local waxwork in town has a wax statue of the same woman, both men become obsessed unable to leave town.
The episode simply fails to give enough information for us to care for the fates of our two leads. Add in lighting from the Batman TV Series, hammy acting from the Waxworks proprietor, very poor props and an ever increasingly ridiculous display of ascots on both our lead characters and any tension is out the window.
Episode three: “Sweets to the Sweet”
Episode three: “Sweets to the Sweet” Probably the most solid of the four outings it has great acting from Christopher Lee and Chloe Franks as his daughter. A straightforward telling of a man who has a “special child” and a nanny/teacher to look after her. A little slow and certainly an often told tale but competently done.
Episode Four: “The Cloak”
Episode Four: “The Cloak” Of the four episodes The cloak tells the most interesting of tales. A hammy horror actor (Dr. Who’s own Jon Pertwee) buys a vampire cloak that turns him into a real vampire while worn.
This episode is played for laughs with the always enjoyable Ingrid Pitt matching the hammy acting with her loose knowledge of English and her tight cleavage. Completely out of tone with the rest of the film, it actually deserves its own feature.
The Wraparound: While the story of a realtor is only there to tie the four stories together, it simply doesn’t do the job. If this was outtakes of a short called “How to Rent Real Estate” featured on a MST3K shorts collection I would not have been surprised. Really drains the fun out of a film that needed no help.
In Conclusion: At no point does the house drip blood. In fact, at no point does anything or anyone drip blood. This is clearly a film meant for the wee ones. A good your first horror film for the grade school crowd. For one thing, they might actually be surprised by the twists in the stories.
For adults, however, the slow pace, predictable stories and the lack of wardrobe malfunction on Miss Pitt make this a pleasant time waster down memory lane but also an easy pass.