Friday, February 21, 2014

GALLERY OF HORROR / American General Pictures - 1967

It's Freakin' Friday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS started a trend of movies with multiple tales told, either by a narrator or mysterious interacting character. Well, director David L. Hewitt got his chance with this five story flick starring Lon Chaney and John Carradine. Alternate titles are RETURN FROM THE PAST and THE BLOOD SUCKERS, one tagline reads... So shocking it will sliver your liver!

Eegah!! sent over a soundclip of the theme from this flick for our earjoyment, sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button there across from The Wizard Of Mars, NOW, Rufus The Gnat! Here's a taste of... GALLERY OF HORROR!

The dapper looking John Carradine narratates the tales as he stands next to a borrowed shot from THE TERROR.

He also stars in the first dime store story, "The Witches Clock." The Farrells have just purchased an old mansion (THE TERROR again) in Salem, Massachusetts, then, an old man named Tristram Halbin (Carradine) shows up at the door. Later, they are warned by a local doctor of the history of witches in the community and about the old clock which they got running again. All the stories have fairly predictible endings.

The second story, "King Vampire," is about an investigation by Scotland Yard to try and solve a mystery concerning a vampire with a slight build, who's killing off villagers.

Of course, the title, "Queen Vampire," would have given the ending away!

Tale number three's called strangely enough, "Monster Raid." Again, scenes from THE TERROR are used quite a bit in this one.

The story's about a man turned zombie when he overdoses on his own experimental drug, he somehow returns to avenge his death by killing his wife and her doctor lover.

If you're going to steal an interesting shot from someone, it might as well be from the great Freddie Francis!

Story four stars Lon in "Spark of Life," about a doctor obsessed with the experiments of Erich von Frankenstein. Him and two of his students try to restore a cadaver of a murderer to life, and succeed. Lon is still able to speak but looks bad. Look at the size of Ron Brogan as the reanimated man, damn!!

Back to THE TERROR, err, story five... It's called "Count Alucard" or "Count Dracula" depending on the credits or John Carradine!

It's pretty much the original DRACULA story just reworked to finish off this 83 minute wonder. Tune in tomorrow to see what old Eegah!! has in store for us!


kochillt said...

The recent passing of director David L. Hewitt had me watching this title again, along with THE WIZARD OF MARS and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF TIME, all of which aired on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater during the 1970s. As bad as it undoubtedly is, GALLERY OF HORROR still holds a warm spot in my heart, far more so than the other two. While it was no surprise to find Carradine and Chaney in such impoverished surroundings, it was a terrible waste of Rochelle Hudson in such a nothing part. Previously seen in such popular titles as LES MISERABLES (with Carradine), POPPY (W. C. Fields), MR. MOTO TAKES A CHANCE (Peter Lorre), MEET BOSTON BLACKIE, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, STRAIT-JACKET, and THE NIGHT WALKER, this turned out to be a sad finale for her career. Carradine's professionalism remained intact, but Chaney clearly suffers opposite such amateurish performers like Vic McGee as the reanimated corpse, with one line nearly identical to one he had in "The Monster Raid" ("now I shall have my revenge!"). Supposedly, Carradine was intended to play Dracula but the actor who replaced him was too big for his cape!

TABONGA! said...

Great info Kochillt, thanks for sharing..

Grant said...

It's sad to hear about Hewitt.
I've always been incredibly sentimental about this one. I first saw it very late one Friday night, so cheapness was the smallest problem I had with it - I managed to be genuinely scared by it instead!
Especially "The Monster Raid." It's also about the only segment of the movie with a deliberately funny moment. I mean the "Love American Style" visual joke at the very end.

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??