Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Gallery of Horrors|
Actors: Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Rochelle Hudson, Roger Gentry, Ron Doyle
Director: David L. Hewitt
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Educational
Screen legend John Carradine is your evening's host for five tales of sheer bloodcurdling horror! In "The Witches Clock" a young couple moving into a New England castle discovers a sinister haunted clock. Then Scotland Yar... more »
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If You Like Bad Movies, You Gotta Have This One
Edward Garea | Branchville, New Jersey United States | 12/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is another wonderfully ridiculous film that I first came across on Chiller Theater. It was made to cash in on the success of another horror anthology, "Dr. Terror's House of Horror's," but they made it on a cut-rate budget, and it shows. John Carradine, in a bad-fitting tux, introduces five episodes designed to terrify you. At any rate they make you laugh out loud. The tales are as follows: The Witches Clock" (sic), King of the Vampires," "Monster Raid," "Spark of Life," (with Lon Chaney, Jr. as a scientist in the 1880s trying to revive a crazed murderer. Watch for Lon's wristwatch.) and "Count Alucard," a vampire tale starring Mitch Evans as the vampire. He gets to fight a werewolf. (!) Rochelle Hudson, an ingénue at Paramount in the 30s, is in there, too, picking up a pay check and trying to rise above the material.
However, let me give the last word to film critic and author Michael Weldon (The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film): The sets look straight out of a play put on by a rural high school. The script is completely ludicrous. In other words - total entertainment! Don't miss it."
Endorsement like this don't come every day.
Fun! Fun! Fun!
Chris Aitken | Manakin Sabot, Virginia United States | 07/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chaney and Carradine are funny enough, but the other actors (ok! almost actors) will make you double over in laughter after each new story. You will start to recognize the same actors playing different characters, in each story (What Range!)All kidding aside, this movie will give one the feel of actually being in a drive-in during the 50's & 60's. This is a fun, camp, drive-in horror film, meant to be enjoyed just for what it is. Have Fun!"
No budget at all, but It's still my favorite movie
Phasedin | New Jersey | 11/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film is an anthology of 5 short horror stories all introduced by John Carradine standing on a set with an errie castle in the backround (the castle is "borrowed" from an earlier Roger Corman movie-and it's also where the plotline of several of the tales takes place).
I originally caught this movie sometime between 1969-1971 on WPIX NY on Saturday night's "Chiller Theatre" as a youngster, under one of it's alternate titles, "Return From The Past".I believe it originally played in movie theatres as "Dr Terrors Gallery Of Horrors", perhaps to intentionally confuse it with the earlier classic British movie "Dr Terror's House Of Horrors", from 1964 which starred actor Peter Cushing. One of the medical students in this movie also is named "Cushing", so I think this is certainly an inside reference to the earlier movie.
The first time this aired that I recall was a few weeks before Xmas. I had never heard of it previously-even being a big fan of horror movies and "Famous Monsters" magazine. At that young age I didn't notice the low budget sets and I enjoyed the movie right off the bat, as well as already being familiar with John Carradine and Lon Chaney. I must say that there is something about this film I really enjoy still to this day, though it may be my nostalgic memories of the time coloring my opinion. Now, this hasn't aired in this part of the country very much at all in the last 30-some odd years, so your chance of seeing it I guess is pretty slim. Yeah, there's no real action. Some of the acting is, um, questionable. I'm convinced one of the actors, Vic McGee was probably a buddy of director David Hewitt. Perhaps he played cards with him on Thursday nights or something and gave him parts in several of his movies as a favor. I am obsessed with McGee-he has an strange speaking voice and an even stranger acting "technique". I wonder what this guy really did to earn a living.He actually appears in 3 or 4 of these stories as different characters. I doubt Mr McGee is around any longer-the IMDb lists his last movie appearence being in 1968 (his first being in 1961)and all but one of his roles was in director David Hewitt's films.
Back to this movie:The castle used in all the tales is from a Roger Corman movie (as well as the horse drawn carriage scenes from one of the stories). The endings can sometimes be predictable (except perhaps the final twist of the last tale "Count Alucard"), but I still love it. "The Witch's Clock" tale which also has John Carradine starring,is actually a pretty good story (with the constant echoed tick-tocking of the old clock after it's re-started being very effective). This is certainly not for fans of newer post 70's films, but for us older fans of perhaps horror from the 1940's to 1960's this can be enjoyable. I watch this film as if it's a stage play-the very minimal background sets certainly give off that feeling (especially in the Lon Chaney tale as well as the outdoor mob scenes in "King Vampire"). But, hell, it's still a kick if you're in the right frame of mind. I believe Lon Chaney only made one other movie after this-the truly awful "Dracula vs Frankenstein" by hack Al Adamson-if you think this THIS is bad, try watching that sometime (or any Adamson film, for that matter)! Or just about any Troma movie as well...
There's something odd about the mood of some of director David L Hewitt's better films that I quite like. "The Wizard Of Mars"-another film of his from around this same time with many of the same cast has a quite odd mood as well. I wish that would come to DVD. Hewitt's better know film-"Journey To The Center Of Time" looks a bit more like a mainstream movie, but I enjoy it less than these other 2 films of his. I wonder what ever happened to Mr Hewitt? Anybody out there know?
And, yes, the DVD of this is finally being released!!
I thought i was the only one waiting for this. Maybe I am.
I hope they use a good, restored print. I actually have 2 videocassette versions of this (one of them in widescreen that looks pretty decent). Certainly not a film for all. But for those who caught this in their youth and enjoyed it, quite an enjoyable little anthology. I hope they include some extras fot this-commentary, movie posters, alternate title sequences, but I doubt it will happen to be honest.
So shocking it will sliver your liver!
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 02/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While watching Gallery of Horrors (1967) aka Dr. Terror's Gallery of Horrors, it brought back memories of the harmless, post-code horror comics I used to read as a kid, specifically titles like "Tales of the Unexpected" and "Secrets of Haunted House", with good reason as most of the stories presented here were based of those by originally written by Russ Jones, author and graphic artist, who worked on such titles as Creepy and EERIE, both released by Warren Publishing. Produced and directed by David L. Hewitt (The Wizard of Mars, Journey to the Center of Time, The Mighty Gorga), the film features the legendary talents of Lon Chaney Jr. (Of Mice and Men, The Wolf Man) and John Carradine (Captains Courageous, The Grapes of Wrath) in roles probably best forgotten in retrospect. Also appearing is Roger Gentry (The Wizard of Mars), Ron Doyle ("Death Valley Days"), Vic McGee (Monsters Crash the Pajama Party), Mitch Evans, who played the gorilla in the classically rotten Jerry Warren feature Teenage Zombies (1959), and Rochelle Hudson, who was the voice of Honey from the Bosko cartoons throughout the 1930s.
After three, arduous, drawn out minutes of opening credits, John Carradine appears in a rented tuxedo, flanked by a still picture of a creepy looking manor, and he provides the set up for our first tale (of five) titled The Witches Clock, a story about a young couple taking up residence in an extremely large and spooky manor (one where the exterior looks exactly like that of the house in the opening sequence of the old Scooby Doo cartoon), once inhabited by a witch, who was killed by her neighbors back in the day when it was fashionable to do such things. In the dungeon (I bet that was a featured selling point), they find an old clock that turns out to be enchanted, and bad things ensue, resulting in a rather abrupt ending. The next tale is title King Vampire, and is set in London in the 1890's, and features a stymied Scotland Yard detective trying to discern the cause of some gruesome deaths about town, ones which involve puncture wounds to the victims' necks, and a severe loss of blood. The third story, titled Monster Raid, includes a scientist whose developed some formula with the intent on unlocking the secrets of the undead returning from the dead to take vengeance on his unfaithful wife and a scheming colleague, both of whom conspired against him in order to steal his secrets, ultimately causing his death. The fourth bit is titled The Spark of Life, and features Lon Chaney Jr. as a science professor and once colleague of Erie Von Frankenstein, who shares his vision with two of his students regarding the re-animating of a cadaver through the use of electricity (gee, I wonder where he got that idea from). Anyway, the students, as a lark, decide to put the Professor's theories to the test by juicing up a handy corpse, and soon the Professor becomes involved. The experiment's a success, sort of, until they learn whom they've actually brought back from the dead. The fifth and final tale is titled Count Dracula, and is a seriously abridged version of Bram Stoker's original story, featuring goofy looking `peasants' in off the rack lederhosen and actor who looks like a sleazy used car salesman playing the Count.
Given the time this film came out, it seems obvious it was created only to try and cash in on the horror anthology genre popularized through the various releases from both Hammer Studios and Amicus (The Studio that Dripped Blood), both of whom knew their stuff a whole lot better than of those who made this movie. The stories here are tepid and tame, comparatively speaking, but do offer some mild fun if you're not expecting a whole lot. The material is pretty flimsy, and the characters like cardboard, but given the limited amount of time dedicated to each tale (the film only runs just over 80 minutes), this didn't surprise me. The real pain here comes from the rotten scripting, and the lousy acting. The dialog is ridiculous, especially so during the King Vampire segment, which was set in 19th century London, as the writer tries feebly to emulate lower class Englishman colloquialisms and mannerisms of speech. This combined with some truly awful cockney accents made for difficult watching. In terms of the acting, seems most of the performers came from television, as when they weren't stepping on their lines, they were looking for them either off screen or on some papers their character just happened to be holding at the time. As far as Carradine and Chaney, neither one had much of a part, but Chaney was looking especially tired and worn out (it's known Chaney Jr. had a real problem with the booze later in his career...yeah, he couldn't get enough of it!), compared to Carradine who looked pretty lively for a man his age. I will say this for Chaney, he did seem to put some effort into his role, despite his probably nursing a hangover throughout and the shoddy nature of the material. As far as the stories themselves, they were all pretty tame (as I mentioned earlier), the weakest, in my opinion, being Monster Raid, if only because it featured no twist at the end, something present in the other four. I'm not saying the twist endings in the others made them great, as they were all predictable as hell, but at least it was something. The Monster Raid bit was tedious, as much of it was told in flashbacks sewn together by 63 scenes of a horse drawn carriage speeding down country roads, supposedly carrying the undead scientist home to seek his revenge, his ghoulish voice played over the footage as if we, the audience, could hear his fiendish thoughts. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd suppose I'd go with Chaney's bit titled The Spark of Life, if only because of Chaney and some unintentional humor throughout. The funniest parts for me here were how he, supposedly once a colleague of Dr. Frankenstein, seemed to believe himself a genius for coming up with electrifying the dead in hopes of inducing life. In terms of the directing, there's really not much to say as all the tales feature a couple of very modest (i.e. cheap) settings, and the camera rarely moves within the context of the scenes. All in all, if you're familiar with code correct, kid friendly horror comics of the 1970s, or enjoy high camp in general, then you'll probably dig on this feature, but if you're expecting some substantial, old school type frights, best skip this one. The film and the release are worth about two stars, but I'm tossing in an extra one for the sake of nostaligia.
Released by Image Entertainment from The Wade Williams Collections, the picture quality, presented in widescreen (2.35:1), non-anamorphic, on this DVD starts off poorly, as the first reel of the transfer element has quite a lot of white specking, but this does get better as the film goes on...there is wear and age element damage present throughout, but I've seen worse. The Dolby Digital stereo comes through cleanly. There are no extras included, but there are chapter stops, for what it's worth.
By the way, one really funny aspect of the film worth mentioning is whenever it appears we're about to see some real violence or blood (usually at the end of the stories), an animated splash of blood covers on the screen, and we then transition into another tale or sequence. This was about as `special' as the special effects got in this feature.