Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Faith Domergue and John Ireland
THE HOUSE OF SEVEN CORPSES (1974). Director/co-writer: Paul Harrison.

"Not exactly the Beverly Hilton, is it?" -- Gayle.

Seven murders or suicides took place in an old house where a filmmaker, Eric Hartman (John Ireland of Raw Deal), has come with his cast and crew to make a movie about these events. David (Jerry Strickler) finds a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and star Gayle Dorian (Faith Domergue) reads incantations from it in  the character of a witch. Unfortunately, these incantations get something stirring underneath the ground in the cemetery ... The House of Seven Corpses has a not-bad screenplay but its execution is mediocre. Domergue [Cult of the Cobra] offers the best performance as the likable diva whose career, like Domergue's, is on the downslide. John Carradine [Munster, Go Home!] plays the caretaker of the estate, and Charles Macaulay is vivid as the male lead, Christopher Millan. (He amassed 82 credits and later played both a judge and a district attorney on some of the Perry Mason telefilms.) Carole Wells plays the ingenue, Anne, who is David's girlfriend. Ron Foreman, the make up man and art designer, was drafted to basically play himself. The movie has atmosphere and a few lively moments, but at times it's disjointed and confusing, and the lighting schemes can cause eyestrain. Some amusing dialogue helps. This was filmed at the Utah State Historical Society in Salt Lake City, who probably hoped something a bit better might have come of it. This was the only film directed by Harrison.

Verdict: Watchable but inferior horror flick. **1/2.

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