Bloodbath at the House of Death – UK, 1983

bloodbath at the house of death VHS cover

Bloodbath at the House of Death is a 1983 British comedy science fiction horror film produced and directed by Ray Cameron from a screenplay co-written with Barry Cryer. It stars comedian Kenny Everett and featuring Vincent Price.

The film is an over-the-top spoof loosely inspired by The Amityville Horror and other horror films from the same period.

 

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1975: Headstone Manor is being used as a “businessman’s weekend retreat and girls’ summer camp”. Soon, a group of satanic monks enter the house and kill eighteen of its occupants.

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In 1983, Doctor Lucas Mandeville (Kenny Everett) and Doctor Barbara Coyle (Pamela Stephenson) are sent to investigate radioactive readings in the area that have been traced to Headstone Manor, now known by locals as the House of Death.

Along with several other scientists, Mandeville and Coyle set up their equipment in the house, while the Sinister Man (Vincent Price), a 700-year-old satanic priest, prepares a rite in the nearby woods to purge the house of its unwanted guests.

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Mandeville reveals that he was once a successful German surgeon named Ludwig Manheim, who was reduced to “smart-arse paranormal research crap” after a humiliation in the past. Coyle also encounters a poltergeist. Several satanic clones of Mandeville, Coyle and the other scientists enter the house and begin killing off the originals and taking their place…

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Reviews:

“Basically, if you like the Scary Movie series or are hardcore enough to have seen (the admittedly superior) Wacko!, then this is parodic horror on a similar level, but with the added benefit of Everett and friends. Likewise, if you’re interested in collecting odd little films from the past that no one else remembers, then this is a must to add to your collection of arcana.” Craig Lines, Den of Geek

Bloodbath at the House of Death is sometimes a very funny movie, with one of the funnies decapitations I’ve ever seen – and a few other scenes of quite gruesome violence – but it’s mostly the slapstick, the bad word jokes and the sexual innuendos that’s the main selling point.” Ninja Dixon

” …you’ll likely either love it or hate it depending on your taste for innuendo-strewn, frequently incoherent grossness. If anything, however, the freedom to push the gore and nudity to the limit results in a lazier approach, meaning that the writers are too often content to rely on the aforementioned fart gags, while anything approaching a clever spoof of horror clichés falls by the wayside.” Ross Horsley, Anchorwoman in Peril

“The whole affair would have been better off on Kenny Everett’s tv show served up as unconnected five-minute skits – that’s all there is to the film, it fails miserably when it tries to assemble the gags into anything more than that. A number of characters are introduced throughout and given amusingly strange quirks but then absolutely nothing is done with them. There is no plot to the film at all.” Richard Scheib, Moria

 …typical Everett zaniness (his character has a German accent and a false leg, for no reason other than it gives him a chance to act up for the cameras) and skits on genre favourites (American Werewolf, Carrie, Jaws, The Entity, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, Alien, a touch of Star Wars, maybe even British classic City of the Dead). But sadly, it seems that someone forgot to put in any actual jokes…” British Horror Films

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” … it does have a lot of laughs if you’re in the right mood. It will of course also help if you know a bit about the genre, being able to spot the many references and influences on show […] BATHOD is certainly not for all tastes, but if you like horror send-ups, especially ones supported by a top-notch cast, and you don’t mind a fart gag or six, then this is for you. ” Eat My Brains

” …Price’s screen time is little more than a guest appearance, but his few of scenes are undoubtedly the highlight of the film. Some have complained about the vulgarity in his scenes but it’s difficult not to chuckle since the actor is clearly relishing the opportunity to send-up is traditional screen persona, particularly in the amusing outburst when Price tells one of the villagers to “piss off”.” 10K Bullets

Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Extras include a 23-minute documentary entitled Running the Bloodbath

” … heavy-handed horror spoof […] One of the researchers is gay, tee-hee. Price plays the leader of a local cult, and a depressing number of gags derive merely from hearing him and other actors swear.” Cult Flicks and Trash Pics

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

“… a moderately entertaining movie that appeals more as a time-capsule of the period it was made in, with many comedy actors and then-topical references to other movies of the time. Kenny himself shows flashes of the brilliance with which he was blessed; Cameron and Cryer deliver a few amusing gags and Vincent Price is a joy to watch as he revels in not taking himself seriously.” Wilson Bros, DVD Active

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Buy novelisation: Amazon.co.uk

Cast and characters:

  • Kenny Everett as Dr. Lukas Mandeville
  • Pamela Stephenson as Dr. Barbara Coyle
  • Vincent Price as Sinister Man
  • Gareth Hunt as Elliot Broome
  • Don Warrington as Stephen Wilson
  • John Fortune as John Harrison
  • Sheila Steafel as Sheila Finch
  • John Stephen Hill as Henry Noland
  • Cleo Rocos as Deborah Kedding
  • Graham Stark as The Blind Man
  • Pat Ashton as Barmaid
  • David Lodge as Inspector Goule
  • Debbie Linden as Attractive Girl
  • Tim Barrett as Doctor
  • Barry Cryer as Police Inspector
  • Anna Dawson as Nurse
  • Gordon Rollings as Man at bar
  • Michael McIntyre as E.T. [uncredited]

Filming locations:

Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Trivia:

Co-producer Laurence Myers recalls that the film did not make sense; he screened the film for censor James Ferman, who enjoyed the film, but believed that the reels were played in the wrong order.

Wikipedia | IMDb

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Categories: 1980s, alien, British, comedy horror, paranormal, rural horror, satanic horror

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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