Plot: The House That Dripped Blood spins a multi-thread yarn about a cursed house, which has been home to numerous supernatural stories, some much campier than others. Method for Murder finds the home occupied by a horror novelist who is finishing up his latest book. As he writes about a vicious murderer, he discovers his vision for the character is more vivid than ever, which starts off as a boon to his writing, until he starts to see the murderer in real life. Waxworks finds a couple of aging, longtime friends in a chamber of horrors attraction, which happens to house a wax statue of Salome that entrances both men. Sweets to the Sweet has an emotionally cold widower concerned about his daughter’s educational issues, so he hires a special teacher to tutor her, with unexpected results. And in The Cape, an old actor known for his horror roles tries to spice up his latest production with a new costuming touch, an antique cape that would look perfect around the neck of a real vampire.
Entertainment Value: A nice blend of campiness and effective atmosphere, The House That Dripped Blood never drips blood and provides minimal scares, but is a lot of fun to watch. This kind of tone is a tough one to get right, as it isn’t over the top camp, but the movie does have a consistent vibe. Of course, that fourth story kind of chucks the slight restraint out the window and goes pure camp, but the first three walk that delicate balance quite well. So if you’re after genuine scares, you might not be thrilled here, but those who appreciate some humor mixed in with the horrors should have a fun time with this Amicus production. As this is an anthology, some segments are better than others, but The Cape seems to be most divisive part of this one. Some love the over the top campiness, while others feel it is out of place, given how well balanced the other three are. I love The Cape, as it is so ridiculous and I’d put Waxworks as the weak link here, but I think all four are solid shorts. The cast helps, with such legends as Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Ingrid Pitt, as well as Jon Pertwee, Denholm Elliott, and Joss Ackland all involved. I always have with this one, so fans of horror anthologies and campy thrills shouldn’t miss The House That Dripped Blood.
No nakedness. The movie involves no sleaze or sexual content to speak of, so the lack of naked flesh is no surprise. No blood. Despite the film’s title, no blood drips here and all of the untoward violence happens off screen. There are some tense moments, but whenever any kind of violence is involved, the scenes are either tame and mild, or nothing is shown at all. So don’t roll in based on the title and poster expecting some crimson, as that doesn’t happen here. I liked the bits of camp blended into the stories, but there’s not much in terms of memorable dialogue, though the fourth segment does supply some wackiness. The great film actor Paul Henderson is a source of some fun lines, but that’s about it here. As for craziness, The Cape’s raw camp is hilarious and Pitt’s levitation scene is a gas, but other than those and some light eeriness and camp in the previous three, this one isn’t that wild.
Overall Insanity: 2/10