Sunday, March 31, 2013

The House of Seven Corpses (1974)

Oh, those silly Hollywood filmmakers—time and again, at least according to the logic of bad horror movies, Hollywood filmmakers make the idiotic decision to shoot on locations where murders occurred, and then keep shooting even when clues indicate the filmmakers themselves are about to become victims. But, hey, if it weren’t for stupid characters, there wouldn’t be very many horror movies, would there? In The House of Seven Corpses, a film crew led by obnoxious director Eric Hartman (John Ireland) shoots a Gothic shocker in a grand estate where several generations of residents were killed. Aiding the crew is a cadaverous old caretaker, Edgar Price (John Carradine), who does creepy things like critiquing the accuracy of murder reenactments, and, at Hartman’s behest, crawling around the graveyard adjoining the estate’s main house. Is it even worth mentioning that the crew is lodging at the estate in addition to shooting there, or that the film being shot has parallels to the Satan worship that inspired past killings? A low-rent American attempt to fabricate the style of England’s Hammer Films, The House of Seven Corpses overflows with mediocre acting, predictable jolts, and uninteresting characters. In particular, the members of Hartman’s acting troupe represent a barrage of clichés—the dim-witted blonde starlet, the insufferable theater-trained ham, the vain leading lady unwilling to admit she’s passed her expiration date, and so on. Plus, of course, Hartman is a cliché, too, since he berates his co-workers relentlessly. Thankfully, many of these annoying characters die. For cinema buffs, the only novel part of watching The House of Seven Corpses is seeing the camera equipment that’s used by Hartman’s crew. Yet if glimpses of vintage Arriflex 35mm cameras are the best things a horror flick can offer, that says a lot.

The House of Seven Corpses: LAME

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