House of Horrors (1946)

Article #446 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-4-2002
Posting date: 10-28-2002

A crazed sculptor befriends a homicidal maniac in order to mold a statue of his face; he also uses him to do away with unfriendly art critics.

First of all, what’s with the title? There have been many movies over the years that could have accurately been called HOUSE OF HORRORS; this isn’t one of them. First of all, the sculptor and the creeper don’t live in a house; they reside in a sculptor’s studio. Secondly, none of the murder’s are committed in the studio; the creeper seems more than willing to visit his victims at their own abodes (maybe it was meant to be called HOUSE CALLS OF HORROR). They could have called it THE CREEPER, but then Jean Yarbrough would have had to rename the movie he made two years later with that title. Still, this is probably all beside the point; this low-budget horror movie is entertaining enough. Martin Kosleck gives a nice performance as the sculptor, and as always, Rondo Hatton’s presence can’t be ignored. His character doesn’t seem to have any real motivation for some of his murders; he says he kills the women because they scream, but he was usually stalking them some time before they actually do this. Still, a more complex character may have been outside Hatton’s range as an actor. Nevertheless, I do believe that a sculptor would have jumped at the chance to use him as a model; there is no doubt that Rondo’s face did indeed have a real sense of power to it, and when the sculptor describes it as beautiful, you can see what he means.


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