Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


A mysterious mansion "inhabited by demonic looking freaks, torturers, and killers"...a brutal test for survival...a bizarre cult...will James Kirkham and his fiance come face to face with Satan himself?

Or, as newspaper ad for the film said:

"See a hideous creature called 'The Spider'; a dog-faced professor, a queer dwarf;a witch and a savage gorilla chasing two lovable lovers through chambers of horror in Satan's playground!"

Heady stuff for 1929!

Coming on the cusp of the silent and talkie movie transitions, this flick -- based on a the novel by fantasy master A. Merritt -- was a "silent" that was released with music and some sound effects.  For years thought lost, an a version of the film with Italian title cards was found and later restored with English title cards.  It may be the only surviving film of director Benjamin Christensen.  The story and scenario was written by Christensen but the titles were written by -- hold onto your hats, kids -- by "William Irish," a.k.a. the legendary suspense and crime writer Cornell Woolrich!

And if that is not enough, the film stars Hot Toddy herserself, Thelma Todd as Eve Martin.  Creighton Hale plays Jame Kirkham.  Look closely and you may see Loretta Young in an uncredited role as "Flailing Victim."

The film mixes horror, mystery, and humor.  It is gloriously shot, ratcheting up the suspense until the end...when it sadly slams into a wall.  **sigh**  Despite its lackluster ending, the film is definitely worth your time.

Give it a try,

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