Thursday, December 6, 2018

Rare Flix: The House of Seven Corpses (1974)

Sadly, this is not a Prequel to The House of 1,000 Corpses.  This is The House of Seven Corpses, a 1974 Film that is far less remembered.  It comes to us from Paul Harrison, a British TV Director with a gazillion Credits...depending on which IMDB link you click on.  He's either the guy with lots of TV Credits in the UK or a guy with six.  I'm not excited to figure out which is true.  The Film is about a Movie Shoot that goes awry thanks to black magic.  Yes, people were accidentally summoning evil in remote places by reading magic books before Evil Dead.  The Film stars John Ireland, Faith Domergue and John Carradine.  What a shock- a low-budget Horror Film with John Carradine in it!  Faith is notable for being involved with Howard Hughes, being in This Island Earth and for this being her final Film.  This Movie is also notable for this being shot in the Governor's Mansion of Utah!  Can you just imagine all of the not-drinking and not-dancing that happened in there?!?  Is there much to cover here?  Is it worth a lot of your time?  To find out, read on...
A woman does some sort of occult ceremony.  What is she up to?
She's making a Movie, of course.
As it turns out, they are making a Film about a real series of deaths in this House and it was apparently 'cheaper' to shoot there.

I'd spend the money if it meant not having John Carradine around to pester me all the time.
While in there, they find a strange old Book full of spells and decide that it might add some authenticity to the whole thing.
The middle of the Film is all padding and set-up.  Well that and everyone being a dick.

Skip to the Ending!
They keep reading from the Book, leading to Carradine going outside and being choked to death by a risen zombie.

This is cross-cut with them shooting the bit in the Movie with the same guy being brought back to life.  Ha.
All of the drama and set-up leads to a series of deaths- some silly and some not.  There are a few that happen off-camera, which is a cheat.

Regardless, this guy somehow taking a headshot, flipping over a railing and crawling away is silly.
So is this lady backing up towards the creature like it is the Scooby-Doo Intro.
Everyone else ends up dead- save one lady- and the Director goes last as his camera is dropped from the balcony on him.  Oh the irony.  The End.
A sometimes fun, mostly drawn-out Film.  House is not a bad Film per se.  It has a solid premise- people accidentally summon black magic while making a Film.  It has a solid Cast- Ireland, Domergue and the rest do a good job.  The end result, however, is a bit route and not as interesting as it should be.  So much of the middle is just bickering and padding though.  It could be a stronger Film if this wasn't such a big issue.  By the end, it is hard to root for anyone.  The zombie is a decent enough threat, but it is never given much focus.  It is just a tool to move the final part along.  Speaking of moving along, one guy is lightly-flipped into an open grave and we never see him again.  How did he die from this exactly?  The grave would have to be filled with spikes like a tiger trap or it goes all of the way to Hell!  There's so many silly things about this Film, which is kind of a shame.  It should be great.  As it is, the Film is neat at first, interesting at the end and not so great in the middle.  Oh well- I'll wait until The House of Eight Corpses to improve things.  Speaking of improving things, I like the more clear HD Transfer of the Film...even if they did miss a few things in the process.
Next time, some more weird stuff.  I need to check some Films off of my 'list' before January, so it is going to be extra-random in December!  Stay tuned...

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