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JOHN BURKE
adapted from the screenplay by Milton Subotsky
Dr Terror's House of Horrors


click to enlarge

Pan, London, 1965
(160 pages)


The blurb on the back:

Werewolf, Vampire, Malignant Vine, Voodoo God, Disembodied Hand...
Each was to play its horrific part in the lives of the five ordinary men brought together in the railway compartment. So prophesied Dr Schrenk, their sinister companion. To each of them he unfolded a terrifying glimpse of the future...


The production company Amicus specialized in anthology horror movies (see also Tales From the Crypt), in which a group of stories were loosely linked together. This was the first of them, and the link here was the great Peter Cushing as Dr Schreck appearing to five passengers on a British train and telling them their fortunes. (Schreck, incidentally, is the German for 'terror', hence the somewhat clumsy title of the film.)

The movie used to be a stalwart of late-night TV schedules, but doesn't seem to have been around for a while. Worth catching if you get the chance though, 'cos it's dead good fun. Particularly fine is the segment referred to in the sleeve blurb as 'Malignant Vine' - if I tell you that the victim of the evil plant is Alan 'Fluff' Freeman, you'll understand why I say this film's worth searching out.

The book's not bad either. John Burke went on to write novelizations of Privilege and Till Death Us Do Part, and he was a neat little writer - not too flashy, but a good solid craftsman. I like it.

see cover
left-right: Alan Freeman, Neil McCallum, Christopher Lee,
Donald Sutherland, Roy Castle


ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


from the maker of...

click to enlarge
Hammer Horror Film Omnibus
click to enlarge
King & Castle
click to enlarge
Privilege
click to enlarge
Till Death Us Do Part

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