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Some day, I’m going to get all Sigmund Freud on myself and figure out why I love horror anthologies so damn much. There must be a definite explanation; the excitement that’s visible on my face while I’m watching these films and/or television series is unlike any other. Not even a slideshow of Eliza-Dushku-in-bikini pictures could out-perform the horror anthology in this respect, and that’s both a sad and compelling truth (sad for obvious reasons). The curious thing about this preference is that the majority of genre omnibus projects are faulty, more hit-or-miss works than unanimous successes (Tales from the Darkside and Monsters, for the losses). The Twilight Zone and Creepshow are the exceptions, in other words. While I personally love them, Britain’s old examples Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973) seem to generate contempt amongst film critics. Fuck if I know why; it doesn’t get any better than seeing Peter Cushing in one chunk of a larger multi-story horror show. 

1972’s Asylum has been treated better by analysts, and rightfully so—–it’s a stellar piece of chilliness. Right alongside Asylum, I’ve come to realize, has rested the 1971 Amicus production The House That Dripped Blood (directed by Peter Duffell), though until this past weekend I’d yet to see it. I thought I’d experienced all the British have to offer in terms of horror anthologies, but, alas, I was wrong. The House That Dripped Blood, though awkward and hammy in spots, is a great time, and I have my father to thank for it, oddly enough; he came across an old used VHS copy of it in some mom-and-pop shop in upstate New York and grabbed it for a mere $5, knowing that I’m a sucker for “cheesy horror,” and what other two words come to mind when looking at the film’s cover art:

B0000A9GHP.01.LZZZZZZZ

There he is, the legendary Peter Cushing, in all his decapitated, cheesy glory. His presence in the film was the first immediate hook; learning that it was written by Robert Bloch (great horror screenwriter and author, most known for penning the novel that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was based upon) was the nail in the hopeful-coffin. For more, head beyond the jump: (more…)

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