House of the Damned

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 ...
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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.
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/5/2006
  • UPC: 024543374800
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20Th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:03:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 94,807

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Merry Anders Nancy Campbell
Richard Crane Joseph Schiller
Ron Foster Scott Campbell
Ayllene Gibbons The Fat Woman
Richard Kiel The Giant
Dal McKennon Mr. Quinby
Erika Peters Loy Schiller
Georgia Schmidt Priscilla Rochester
Stacey Winters The Nurse
Technical Credits
Maury Dexter Director, Producer
Jodie Copelan Editor
John M. Nickolaus Jr. Cinematographer
Harry Spalding Screenwriter
Henry Vars Score Composer
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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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Menu

Disc #1, Side A -- House of the Damned: Fullscreen
   Play
   Language Selection
      Audio
         English Mono
         English Stereo
      Subtitles
         English
         Spanish
         French
         None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Poster Gallery
Disc #1, Side B -- House of the Damned: Widescreen
   Play
   Language Selection
      Audio
         English Mono
         English Stereo
      Subtitles
         English
         Spanish
         French
         None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Poster Gallery
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