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Michael Armstrong - The Haunted House of Horror (1969)

Michael Armstrong - The Haunted House of Horror (1969)

The Haunted House of Horror (1969)
Directed by:
Michael Armstrong
Writing credits:
Michael Armstrong
Gerry Levy (as Peter Marcus)
Frankie Avalon ... Chris
Jill Haworth ... Sheila
Denis Price ... Inspector
Mark Wynter ... Gary
George Sewell ... Kellett
Gina Warwick ... Sylvia
Carol Dilworth ... Dorothy
Julian Barnes ... Richard
Veronica Doran ... Madge
Robin Stewart ... Henry
Jan Holden ... Peggy
Clifford Earl ... Police Sergeant
Robert Raglan ... Bradley
Mel Churcher (as Melinda Churcher)
Freddie Lees ... Dave
Richard O'Sullivan ... Peter
A group of friends at a party in London decide to go to an old, deserted, reputedly haunted mansion. But while investigating, one of the group, Gary, is stabbed to death. Realizing that the murderer could only be a member of their group, the others decide to bury the body and keep quiet about what happened. But after Gary is reported missing and the police begin an investigation, pressure comes on them to return and find out who the killer is...
"It's the 60s again, you can tell by the way the film makers have gone all out on the swinging and completely ignored what was actually happening in the real world outside Carnaby Street. Everyone under the age of 30 looks (and is) over the age of 30, and they all work in groovy boutiques. "Stoned" apparently means "drunk", and a good night out seemingly involves standing around a piano in a pub, having a good old sing-song...Suddenly, and without any warning, we are treated to possibly one of the nastiest deaths in 60s British horror films, as Gary is extremely messily hacked to pieces by an unseen assailant. Coming as it does after what seems like hours of tedium, this really does work. And even to the jaded eyes of a 21st century viewer, it's an astonishingly gory scene...
Leaving aside the obvious "Eh? What? Why?" questions, we can at least take comfort in the idea that what we're about to get is a proto Friday The 13th, full of suspense and shocks as the group gradually get whittled down to one plucky girl who finishes off the killer, only to find that all is not as it seems. Basking in a warm glow, that same viewer can tell themselves that Haunted House Of Horror may be crap, but at least it has a place in the history books.
Haunted House Of Horror is not a good film - apart from the ridiculous dialogue, dodgy acting, Jill "scrumptious" Haworth and that death, there's not a lot to recommend it. The house isn't haunted and the horror is few and far between. Considering it was made by the "usually better than Hammer" Tigon, it's a major disappointment. Would it have been any better if the role of Gary had gone to the first choice, a little-known chap by the name of David Bowie? It's unlikely." -

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