- SKU: 13616946
- Release Date: 07/15/2003
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A horror film of dubious taste, a least for the early '60s when it was released, this Gothic tale about transplanted heads comes from Germany and is directed by Victor Trivas. Prof. Abel (Michel Simon) has invented the miraculous "Serum X," and with it he successfully keeps a dog's head alive after the rest of the canine is quite dead. When the able Prof. Abel dies, his assistant, the odd Dr. Ood (Horst Frank), keeps Abel's head around -- but not for old times' sake. Dr. Ood is in love with a hunchbacked nurse (Karin Kernke) and he wants Abel's head to help him out with a novel transplant operation. Dr. Ood wants to take the body of a stripper (Christiane Maybach), snip off her head, and put the nurse's head in its place. Unfortunately, nothing goes exactly as he plans. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
House on Haunted Hill
A perennial favorite of the "Shock Theatre" TV circuit, House on Haunted Hill stars Vincent Price as sinister gent (you're surprised?) Frederick Loren, who resides in a sinister mansion on a sinister hill, where seven murders have occurred. He makes a proposal to several strangers, offtering $10,000 to anyone who can last the entire night. Loren festively gives each of his guests a tiny coffin containing a loaded handgun, designed to protect them from the spooks that emerge in the house over the course of the night. The picture hinges on its surprise ending, which packs in several by-now-familiar twists. When originally released to theaters, House on Haunted Hill was accompanied by one of those gimmicks so beloved of producer/director William Castle: the gimmick was "Emergo," and it involved a prop skeleton that "emerged" from the side of the screen at a crucial moment to frighten the audience. Like most of Castle's best films, House didn't really need the gimmick, but its presence added to the fun -- especially when second- and third-time viewers responded to "Emergo" by bombarding the skeleton with popcorn and empty soda bottles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Devil's Messenger
Satan sends his newest most seductive minion back to the earthly plane to search for new recruits in this horror compilation from an unsold Swedish television series No. 13 Demon Street that stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Devil. Each of the beautiful hellcat's victims dies in interesting ways, including the one who sent her to hell in the first place. He too becomes a worker for the big-D, who gives the couple the formula for nuclear weapons with the instructions that they are to pass it around. They do so and soon Hell is filled to the brimstone with tormented souls. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
The Bloody Pit of Horror
Ex-Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay plays the thick, musclebound host for the evil spirit of the notorious "Crimson Executioner," a sadistic Italian Baron in whose former castle Hargitay and a collection of sexy models are staging a Gothic-themed photo shoot. Before long, the sweaty brute is hauling the poor lasses into the dungeon to have at them with a wide assortment of torture devices. The film's ad slicks proudly proclaim this Euro-cheapie as being "Based on the works of the Marquis de Sade." Although this statement is pretty unlikely, it's still hard to refute: Who's to say a movie depicting the torture of numerous scantily-clad ladies isn't something the Marquis wouldn't heartily endorse? Authentic or not, it's certainly a sleazy little film, notable only for the novelty presence of Hargitay (Jane Mansfield's husband). Video-seekers can take their pick from a wide assortment of alternate titles: Bloody Pit of Horror, The Crimson Executioner, The Scarlet Executioner, Virgins for the Hangman and probably half a dozen others. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Horst Frank - Dr. Ood
- Michel Simon - Prof. Abel
- Paul Dahlke - Crime Commissioner
- Karin Kernke - Irene
- Helmut Schmidt - Lab Assistant Bert