THE LEGEND OF
HELL HOUSE

MOVIE REVIEW
HOME FEO'S STORE REVIEWS INTERVIEWS FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
Movie reviews

Story reviews

Comic reviews

Music review

Support This Site
When You Buy My Books

E.C. McMullen Jr.
PERPETUAL
BULLET

Perpetual Bullet Paperback "'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE

Willow Blue "'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper "This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201:
The Silver Scream

Horror 201: The Silver Scream Filmmaker's Guidebook
featuring
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.

Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING
CIRCUS OF HELL

Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell
Forward by
GAHAN WILSON &
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
ALEX PARDEE,
WILLIAM STOUT,
STEVE BISSETTE,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
STEVEN MANNION,
and more!

Also
IN CINEMA
E.C. McMullen Jr.

Head Production Designer
Mine Games MINE GAMES
(Starring:
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
ALEX MERAZ)

Dept. head
Special Effects Make-Up
(SFX MUA)
A Sierra Nevada Gunfight A SIERRA NEVADA
GUNFIGHT

(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).

Production Designer
Universal Dead UNIVERSAL DEAD

(DOUG JONES,
D.B. SWEENEY,
GARY GRAHAM)

ART DIRECTOR
The Crusader THE CRUSADER

(COLIN CUNNINGHAM,
GARY GRAHAM)
Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C. McMullen Jr.
the Legend of Hell House
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE - 1973
USA Release: June 15, 1973
Academy Pictures Corporation / 20th Century Fox
Rated: Singapore: NC-16 / Iceland, West Germany: 16 / Australia: M / Finland: K-16 / Norway, UK: 15 / USA: PG

Dr. Barrett waits in a grand foyer or some otherwise ungainly huge room. Called to come forward, he enters the presence of an old wheelchair bound man with a booger in his nose. The old man is Mr. Rudolph Deutsch (Roland Culver: THE LATE EDWINA BLACK, FRAGMENT OF FEAR, THE UNCANNY) and he has one request for which he is willing to pay £100,000 pounds. Considering that this took place in 1973, that's no small change. Rudolph wants Dr. Barrett (Clive Revill: THE HEADLESS GHOST, THE BLACK WINDMILL, C.H.U.D. II, DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT) because he is one of the five top men in his field.

Dr. Barrett is a physicist, but more to the point, he has studied parapsychology for the last twenty years. The subject of Barrett's study will be to ascertain, for certain, survival after death. Barrett scoffs but the old man assures him that he is sending him to the only place where the supernatural has never been refuted: The Belasco House. "Hell House?" Dr. Barrett whispers, and the old man smiles nodding. He then proceeds to tell Barrett who will accompany him into the house: To spend one week there and report back. Barrett finds himself shocked and surprised by all of this but £100,000 is hard to pass up - even in today's pounds.

In short order, Barrett, along with his wife, Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt: EYE OF THE CAT, FRAGMENT OF FEAR, VOICES), are soon joined by mental medium, Florence Tanner (Pamela Franklin: AND SOON THE DARKNESS, NECROMANCY, SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, THE FOOD OF THE GODS) and physical medium, Benjamin Franklin Fisher (Roddy McDowell: PLANET OF THE APES, ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, EMBRYO, FRIGHT NIGHT). What is especially interesting about Fisher is, he is the sole remaining survivor of the last scientific expedition into the Belasco House, from 20 years earlier. You would think almost nothing could get him to go back and you'd be right. Nothing but £100,000.

The foursome have one week, by then it will be Christmas Eve, to verify the existence of life after death. Dr. Barrett, though a skeptic, also wants to believe, and the Belasco house has quite a history after all. As Barrett tells his wife, "The Belasco House is the Mount Everest of haunted houses."

Before Barrett takes on this experiment, he requests that a certain machine he is working on be completed. After assurances have been given that it will be finished and delivered to the Belasco house, Barrett leaves.

The group
"Wait a damn minute. Deutsch told me the Belasco house was a HOUSE!"

Soon the four folks enter the house and within no time, Merry Mishaps occur.

Belasco House
"This monstrosity is a CASTLE! It makes MY house look like a runty FLAT!
BLOODY HELL! I should have charged him by the square meter!"

Within a very short time, three of the four will come to know that the long dead Emeric Belasco has not only survived death, but is a horribly powerful force feeding off of all life that enters the house. One by one, all of them will be possessed by a madness - no supernaturally locked doors or windows are necessary - Belasco preys on their minds, fears, desires, and deep needs to keep them right where he wants them. All of them will have to concentrate together to defeat the murderous force that dwells within the Belasco House.

The music for THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE is more than a little creepy, with an odd and unsettling score and sound effects by Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson, and Dudley Simpson (best known to fans of Dr. Who). Directed by John Hough (EYEWITNESS, TWINS OF EVIL, THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, THE INCUBUS, AMERICAN GOTHIC, BAD KARMA) the film moves along at a pace almost like a documentary, which is likely the way famed Horror screenwriter, Richard Matheson (HOUSE OF USHER, PIT AND THE PENDULUM, BURN WITCH BURN, TALES OF TERROR, THE RAVEN, THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE OMEGA MAN, THE DUEL, THE NIGHT STALKER, THE NIGHT STRANGLER, TRILOGY OF TERROR, Masters of Horror: DANCE OF THE DEAD) wanted it.

Like Robert Wise' THE HAUNTING, less is more as sound effects largely function in the stead of visual effects. And while there are a few of these, no ghosts are ever actually seen.

I love this film, though it is not without its flaws. One egregious error is a scene in which Fisher is overcome by the powerful forces at work in the house. In extreme close-up, he sits bolt upright screaming with his Eyes Crossed! While actor Roddy McDowell was certainly giving the moment everything he had, director Hough should have seen this and reshot it, as the crossed eyes make the entire scene silly and the momentum of the unintentional hilarity takes a while to dispel.

Otherwise, the most was made of all the effects, the actors, the music, and the house itself.

In 1973, director John Hough was at the top of his form and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE is his masterpiece.

Four Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

The Legend of Hell House (1973) on IMDb
GET SOME CLOTHES ON

Return to Movies

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER
Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME @
Amazon
ECMJr
Feo Blog
IMDb
Stage32
Twitter
YouTube
Zazzle Shop
I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright © 1997 - 2020 by E.C .McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C. McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.