6.8/10
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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.

Director:

Freddie Francis (as Freddy Francis)

Writer:

Milton Subotsky (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... Dr. Terror
Neil McCallum Neil McCallum ... Jim Dawson (segment "Werewolf")
Ursula Howells Ursula Howells ... Mrs. Deirdre Biddulph (segment "Werewolf")
Peter Madden ... Caleb (segment "Werewolf")
Katy Wild ... Valda (segment "Werewolf")
Alan Freeman Alan Freeman ... Bill Rogers (segment "Creeping Vine")
Ann Bell ... Ann Rogers (segment "Creeping Vine")
Phoebe Nicholls ... Carol Rogers (segment "Creeping Vine") (as Sarah Nicholls)
Bernard Lee ... Hopkins (segment "Creeping Vine")
Jeremy Kemp ... Jerry Drake (segment "Creeping Vine")
Roy Castle ... Biff Bailey (segment "Voodoo")
Kenny Lynch Kenny Lynch ... Sammy Coin (segment "Voodoo")
Christopher Carlos Christopher Carlos ... Vrim (segment "Voodoo")
The Tubby Hayes Combo The Tubby Hayes Combo ... Biff Bailey's Band (segment "Voodoo") (as The Tubby Hayes Quintet)
Christopher Lee ... Franklyn Marsh (segment "Disembodied Hand")
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Storyline

Five strangers board a train and are joined by a mysterious fortune teller who offers to read their Tarot cards. Five separate stories unfold: An architect returns to his ancestral home to find a werewolf out for revenge; a doctor suspects his new wife is a vampire; an intelligent vine takes over a house; a jazz musician plagiarizes music from a voodoo ceremony; a pompous art critic is pursued by a disembodied hand. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Acclaimed as "THE FEAR OF THE YEAR"

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blood Suckers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£105,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Amicus Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

Contrary to what is implied, in Tarotmancy the thirteenth card showing Death is generally interpreted to indicate a positive change. See more »

Quotes

Hopkins: Plant like that... could take over the world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

On some American prints the MPAA seal appears on the Paramount logo. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK Anchor Bay DVD 2003 release presents the film under its German title "Die Todeskarten des Dr Schreck" with font in white on red background although the movie itself has a full English soundtrack. Owing to the unavailability of a better print, the final few seconds (a long shot where Schreck turns and the others follow) are missing and the closing credits are sourced from a VHS print. The UK Odeon Entertainment DVD 2010 release presents the film with its original UK titles and UK title "Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors" with font in red on dark background, having been restored by BBC Studios and Post Production. The closing credits are the same being sourced from a VHS print. See more »

Connections

Followed by Van de andere Kant van het graf (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me Love
Written by Kenny Lynch
See more »

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User Reviews

 
First and best of the Amicus compendiums
3 February 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Techniscope)

Sound format: Mono

Five travellers on an overnight train are told their fortunes by a mysterious old man (Peter Cushing) who turns out to be... well, you'll see.

Formed in the early 1960's by American producers Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg as a response to various tax concessions which encouraged an upsurge in British movie-making, independent studio Amicus hit the ground running with this breezy horror anthology, directed by famed cinematographer Freddie Francis, in which several heavyweight thesps (including Christopher Lee and a very young Donald Sutherland, the latter a sop to US audiences) and a couple of notable UK media celebrities (entertainer Roy Castle, DJ Alan Freeman) meet grisly fates at the hands of various supernatural entities (werewolf, creeping vine, voodoo, disembodied hand and vampire, respectively).

Lavishly photographed by Alan Hume in widescreen Techniscope - Francis had, of course, learned a thing or two about widescreen composition during his work on SONS AND LOVERS (1960) and THE INNOCENTS (1961), amongst others! - this low budget thriller utilizes the same audience-friendly Gothic elements which launched Hammer to worldwide fame and fortune, but locates them within the recognizable boundaries of contemporary British society, an aspect which immediately distinguishes it from the Victorian milieu favored by rival studios. Francis clearly relishes the creative opportunities afforded by the material, and while the stories themselves - all originals, penned by Subotsky - are fairly bland and obvious, they're all energized by Francis' stylish visuals and helter-skelter pacing. Each story has its merits, but director and scriptwriter keep the best two for last: Lee's pompous art critic is haunted by the living severed hand of an artist (Michael Gough) he drove to suicide, and Sutherland discovers his new bride's (Jennifer Jayne) bloodthirsty secret, leading to a twist in the tale...

Lee gives the showiest performance, as a haughty member of the critical Establishment whose ego leads him on the path to self-destruction, but his fellow cast members all rise to the occasion, and Francis even manages to indulge Castle's famed jazz trumpeting abilities without holding up the plot! Cushing takes center stage, playing a character much older than his years, though he's rather let down by a fake German accent which sounds more comical than ominous; his timing, however, is impeccable, as always. Brisk, stylish and more than a little camp in places (watch out for that crawling hand!), the movie is a triumph for Francis and his technical team. Subotsky and Rosenberg were also responsible for John Llewellyn Moxey's moody witchcraft thriller THE CITY OF THE DEAD, produced in 1960 under the 'Vulcan' banner, but it was the creation of Amicus which firmly established their fortunes within the UK film industry (cf. TORTURE GARDEN, THE VAULT OF HORROR, etc.). Sadly, Francis became increasingly disillusioned by his status as a 'horror' director, and many of his later efforts suffered as a consequence of his apathy (THEY CAME FROM BEYOND SPACE, TROG, CRAZE, etc.).


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