House of the Damned

House of the Damned

Director: Maury Dexter

Cast: Maury Dexter, Merry Anders, Richard Crane, Ron Foster

     
 

This unappealing suspense film stars Ronald Foster and Erika Peters as a couple who arrive at a decrepit old mansion only to find that the previous occupants -- a group of circus freaks -- have yet to vacate the premises. Worse, it seems that the mischievous tenants are quite adamant about defending their territory against all outsiders while waiting for their keeper… See more details below

Overview

This unappealing suspense film stars Ronald Foster and Erika Peters as a couple who arrive at a decrepit old mansion only to find that the previous occupants -- a group of circus freaks -- have yet to vacate the premises. Worse, it seems that the mischievous tenants are quite adamant about defending their territory against all outsiders while waiting for their keeper to return, and their methods of dissuading unwanted guests apparently include murder. This is a passable spook-house exercise, with lots of severed limbs flung at the hapless protagonists and and a silly cop-out ending, but the use of actual circus freaks as the villains (probably a cost-saving measure for the filmmakers) is more than a little disconcerting. The circus giant is played by a young Richard Kiel.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Aficionados of horror films may want to check in to House of the Damned for a while, but those who do not have a real deep and abiding love for anything connected with the genre should give this one a pass. Damned is a pretty poor little flick, a "dark old house" mystery that also cribs quite a bit from Freaks, but without that classic's ingenuity or atmosphere. Indeed, Damned ends up being a surprisingly gentle horror film, which might have made for an interesting variation -- but not in the hands of director Maury Dexter and writer Harry Spalding. Instead, we're left with a bunch of "scare" scenes that don't provide as much impact as intended, a script that wanders hither and yon, and characters that are pure cardboard. The cheapness of the production is also abundantly evident, although John M. Nickolaus, Jr.'s cinematography is still several cuts above average. The location used for filming is also interesting, but Dexter simply doesn't do enough with it. The cast does what it can with the material, but it's not enough -- the end result is really just kind of dull, not exactly what one wants from a film that's meant to provide chills.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/05/2006
UPC:
0024543374800
Original Release:
1963
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:03:00
Sales rank:
73,723

Special Features

Closed Caption

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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- House of the Damned: Fullscreen
1. Main Titles
2. The Job Offer
3. Rochester Castle
4. Thirteen Keys
5. Exploring
6. Not Alone
7. The Legless Man
8. Deciding to Stay
9. Mrs. Schiller
10. Unhappily Married
11. Strange Occurrences
12. Mrs. Rochester
13. Searching for Loy
14. The Forbidden Room
15. Freaks
16. On Their Way/End Titles
Disc #1, Side B -- House of the Damned: Widescreen
1. Main Titles
2. The Job Offer
3. Rochester Castle
4. Thirteen Keys
5. Exploring
6. Not Alone
7. The Legless Man
8. Deciding to Stay
9. Mrs. Schiller
10. Unhappily Married
11. Strange Occurrences
12. Mrs. Rochester
13. Searching for Loy
14. The Forbidden Room
15. Freaks
16. On Their Way/End Titles

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