director Peter Duffell
This Amicus horror anthology starts out weakly, with little actual horror, but then turns comic and almost redeems itself. The House that Dripped Blood has a none-too-clever wrap-around story featuring a man from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of a famous actor and comes to find that many who have stayed in said house have come to unusual ends. Only the house itself has little to do with it.
My favorite of the stories is “Sweets for the Sweet” featuring Christopher Lee as one of the meanest dad’s ever. He isolates his little blonde Jane (Chloe Franks) from the world and won’t let her have dolls. Her new nanny Ann (Nyree Dawn Porter) is shocked by his behavior and works hard to fight for the little girl. Only she turns out to be EVIL!!!
Actually, this is where the film becomes really quite funny. There is such absurdity and archness to Lee’s unkind papa and his maniacal witchy daughter that it’s just super funny.
The final segment goes more clearly intentionally funny, wrapping up the wrap-around in more purely comic ways. And while I don’t always appreciate humor when I’m hoping for horror, somehow this all turned my mind on the film a bit more positive.
Robert Bloch scripted this one, as he had Torture Garden (1967) a few years earlier for Amicus. It made for a rock-solid movie poster too.