The House That Dripped Blood (1971) Review

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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.

The house in question not dripping blood.

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”.

Denholm Elliott as the hack writer and Joanna Dunham as his wife.

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.

Joanna Dunham with a smirky smile.

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.

Yeah, they are obsessed with the same woman.

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.

They actually shop for antiques together. I am not sure what is going on here, but an obsession with a woman is far down on my list of suspicions.

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.

Are we sure the boys are at a wax museum?

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.

This episode also easily has the best direction of the four, with deliciously framed shots such as this one.

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.

Still more convincing than Parker Posey in Blade Trinity.

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.

Ah, Shakespeare in the Park.

The Wraparound

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.

The owners love how it looks just like it did 50 years ago when the owner moved in. 

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.

Oh course your kids could just read the original 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.

Well, it does have Christopher Lee, so it is not that easy of a pass.
I am including this shot because I love cars like this. I wish they were still available (outside of the Miata.) I had a 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio my father at about the same age in his life had a 1966 Triumph Spitfire.
So this is the police sketch of the man you caught having sex with me?
To the left is the “woman” our gentleman are obsessed with. It isn’t even a proper wax statue. They are in love with a mannequin twenty years before Andrew McCarthy.
It is a fine line between giallo inspired and Batman TV series inspired.
Let me axe you something
Watch it burn like your future when I steal your father from you.
It’s just a model…
You know kids before Amazon, this is how we used to have to do our shopping.
Jon Pertwee glances through the fourth wall.
Once again I ask what happens to the glorious paintings they make for the movies. Did Jon Pertwee get to keep it and hang it proudly in his parlour?
Oh, an eye bugging contest.
Decent show by Peter Cushing
Sorry, Joanna Dunham, that is more of a stare.
Nyree Dawn Porter not quite there with more of an eye role.
Ingrid Pitt barely opens her eyes for the contest. Though in all fairness to her she is not used to people looking into her eyes.
Good show Jon Pertwee. We have a winner.
Nice Shot of Joanna Dunham
More waxworks questions. What exactly is this supposed to be? The famous shrunken heads of Tudor England?
Nyree Dawn Porter is from New Zealand and is a Māori. Her actual first name is spelled Ngaire with Nyree the phonetic spelling.  
She had some success in theater and television but struggled for a breakout film role.
Here she is with Chloe Franks who was one of the go to child actresses in Britain in the seventies.
Chloe retired from acting in the early eighties and after diagnosed with getting rheumatoid arthritis in the nineties, she became an effective campaigner for the disabled.
More Nyree Dawn Porter shots.
Nyree Dawn Porter is better than the material.
Having grown up on Tom Baker, I am unfamiliar with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor.
But after seeing him ham it up and eat all the scenery
I am looking forward to seeing what he did with the character.
Of course, standing next to Ingrid Pitt in most of his scenes didn’t hurt.
Ingrid always adds a little something to any scene. (Well, not little per se)

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