HOUSE OF BLOOD (1973)
aka House of Terror
Article 4445 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Sergei Goncharoff
Featuring Jennifer Bishop, Arell Blanton, Mitchell Gregg
What it is: Twisty thriller wannabe
A nurse takes on a job of caring for a rich man’s bad-tempered wife. She is talked by her ex-con boyfriend into taking part in a plot to get the man’s fortune.
There’s a few horrific moments here (the pre-credits murders, a bloody suicide, etc.) and a pointless subplot that hints at the existence of a ghost that add the blood and terror to this one, and if they’re the highlights of the movie, that’s mostly because the rest of the movie isn’t giving it much competition. I suspect that this movie was trying for a DIABOLIQUE-style thriller; if so, then it makes a huge mistake by giving us all of the character and relationship alignments ahead of time so that no real plot twists ever take place; all you’re really watching for is to see if the various plans of the characters work out. To give an example of the bad plotting, the scene that is supposed to imply that the ghost of a dead person has appeared occurs after the movie has established that there is another character that looks almost identical to the dead person on the premises. At heart, the only thing that remains a mystery throughout the movie is who was responsible for the opening murders, and that’s hardly a challenging mystery to figure out. Most of the cast seems to have a fair amount of acting experience, but the performances are uniformly weak and awkward throughout the movie as well. Throw in the lethargic pace, and you have a movie that really cannot be recommended to anyone.