Product DetailsThis clever horror omnibus is one of the better early anthologies from Amicus Productions, thanks to Freddie Francis' stylish direction and a tongue-in-cheek approach from writer Milton Subotsky (who would later apply the same sardonic treatment to the EC Comics-based productions Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror). The framing story is set in a train car, where five passengers have their fortunes told by the all-seeing Dr. Schreck (Peter Cushing), who refers to his ominous tarot deck as his "House of Horrors." Their respective stories involve all manner of occult happenings: a jazz musician's involvement with a voodoo curse; an estate haunted by a werewolf; a doctor (Donald Sutherland) who suspects that his wife has become a vampire; a cottage besieged by a monster kudzu vine; and the most entertaining segment, in which arrogant art critic Christopher Lee is avidly pursued by a snubbed artist's severed hand. In the end, it doesn't take a jaded horror buff to deduce Schreck's true identity or the ultimate destination of the train passengers, but it's a fun ride nonetheless. Not all of the stories work (the vampire story's "twist" ending is rather silly, the voodoo tale painfully dated), and the effects are generally sub-par, but Francis keeps the pace snappy throughout, giving the entire film a throwaway, Halloween spook-house feel. Hammer horror fans will certainly find this a keeper on the strength of Cushing and Lee's performances.
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