Tuesday, October 24, 2006
31 Days of Halloween - Day 24 Movie
"House of Horrors" (1946) is one of Universal's lesser efforts, coming in at the tail end of their classic horror years. Instead of the Frankenstein Monster, the Mummy, or the Wolf man, we get "The Creeper" played by Rondo Hatton who was physically deformed with enlarged features, particularly his head, due to a condition known as acromegaly. Here he plays a killer who snaps the spines of women because they scream. He is taken in by an unwitting, failed sculptor to serve as his model for a new work. It's not long before their reciprocal relationship has the Creeper murdering off the critics who derailed his friend.
It's an easy movie to sit through, though not particularly noteworthy in any area. The sculptor is somewhat sympathetic, and his cat is put to good use to heighten this. The rest of the characters are all pretty much generic cyphers; cop, nice guy hero, Lois Lane reporter, beautiful model, nasty critic, etc. Hatton is very understated in his role, the matter of factness of his delivery should create some menace, but in spite of his appearance he's a pretty nonthreatening presence, and seems bored with the proceedings.
If it ever airs, it's not a bad way to pass an hour, but I don't recommend tracking it down.