A few days ago, I was looking through horror movies on Netflix and came across the 1967 film House of the Walking Dead. Even though this was the first time I heard of this movie, it sounded somewhat interesting so I decided to take the time to watch it.
My wife and I watched this over two nights. During that time, I learned this movie has been released under several different names, including The Blood Demon, Blood of the Virgins, The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism and a very long German name I won’t even attempt to spell. Regardless of the name, the only thing scary abou this movie is just how boring it was.
The movie had a promising storyline. Christopher Lee (who has starred in plenty of movies like this) plays Count Regula, a man who is drawn and quartered for killing 12 virgins after his intended thirteenth victim escapes and testifies against him. Roughly 35 years later, he rises from the dead in an effort to seek revenge on the offspring of those who wronged him.
According to a brief description in the beginning of the film, the movie is supposed to be based, in part, on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum. Other than the fact there is a pendulum (more on that later), the movie doesn’t even come close to that or any other horror movie/book I have ever seen.
To be fair, there are a couple of creepy scenes in the movie, including a forest full of dead bodies and some satanic-like artwork throughout the castle. And, my wife got the chills a bit when the heroine (Karin Dor) had scorpions and spiders crawling on her. However, for a horror movie, I have to say this film was actually pretty dull.
The biggest problem with the movie is there are way too many unimportant scenes that are dragged out to the point it is almost torture. Half the movie consists of the main characters traveling to Regula’s castle. In fact, I think they spent more time asking for directions in the village than they did actually interacting with the count. They definitely spent more time doing that than it took them to kill the bad guy.
The thing that really disappointed me was the lack of emotion from the actors. Dor’s character was decent and had a wide range of emotions. But, the rest of them seemed like they were robots at times. The hero, Roger (Lex Barker), for example, was tied to the floor of a pit with a pendulum coming down toward him (the only similarity to Poe’s story, by the way) and had a calm, almost happy expression on his face. I have never been in that situation before, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be as calm.
And, even though I briefly mentioned it before, it is worth mentioning again; Regula had to be one of the easiest bad guys to kill ever. It’s as though the producers of the movie couldn’t afford stunt people for a fight scene and decided to kill him without anyone even touching him.
Final Opinion: Don’t let the description or the fact the movie has a well-known actor like Christopher Lee fool you, it is not worth watching.
Average Netflix Grade: 2.6 stars out of a possible 5.
My Grade: 1 star.