Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It's October 1st and that means that Halloween is just around the corner.  Actually, it's more toward the end of the block, but whatever.  It's time to celebrate horror...and what can be more horrible than watching Frankie Avalon trying to act!  I thought so.

Included here is the theatrical preview of the flick (also known as Horror House), giving you a taste of cheesiness to come.  There are no questions about this preview.  Literally, no questions.  flashing over the preview are such words as "Could you be alone in the dark," and "Are you afraid of the dark," and "Are your nerves stretched to the breaking point by The Haunted House of Horror."  No question marks.  Evidently the budget could not afford question marks.

Credited with writing and directing the film is 24-year-old Michael Armstrong, but the film was taken from his control early on.  The movie was co-produced by AIP, which still had one movie owed them by contract with Boris Karloff.  AIP London executive insisted that Armstrong bring to Karloff into the movie, Armstrong refused, hissy-fits ensued.  When the dust was cleared, Armstrong was out, Harwood reimagined the film and hired Gerry Levy to take over the reins, and Karloff still did not appear in the film.  Sex and violence were toned down, a bajillion scenes outside the haunted house were added. characters were tweaked, the killer's motivation was changed, Dennis Price's role as the police inspector (he originally had only one scene) was pumped up, George Sewell's character was added, and parts of the films became meaningless, inconsistent, any anything but seamless.

But all was not lost...

**************************SPOILER ALERT***************************

Ankiefray Valonay endsay upay icedslay anday icedday -- anday otnay ybay Annetteay.

*************************END OF SPOILER ALERT*********************

Besides Frankie Avalon, the film stars late Sixties go-go boots, miniskirts, and fashions, as well as boring party scenes.  The female lead  is played by the very beautiful Jill Haworth who was discovered by Otto Preminger and cast by him as Sal Mineo's girlfriend in Exodus.  (Haworth was romantically linked by gossips with Mineo for several years after, most likely much in the same way Rock Hudson was linked with various women.)  The very talented Haworth also originated the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway.  She passed away several years ago following a long career doing voice-overs.

Dennis Price, whose role as the police inspector was greatly expanded, was a matinee star in the Forties, who became a successful character actor later in his career.  He played Jeeves in the 1965-67 British television series The World of Wodehouse.  Julian Barnes, *********MORE SPOILERS********* owhay  aysplay ethay illerkay **********END OF SPOILER ALERT********* also had a long career after this, his second film.  George Sewall, plopped into the film at the last minute by Haworth and Levy, may best be remembered as George Smiley's handler Mendel in the original miniseries of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

So, if you cannot be alone in the dark and if you are afraid of the dark and if your nerves would be stretched to the breaking point by The Haunted Hose of Horror, don't bother to click on the link!

1 comment: