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DVD Review: Vincent Price in House of 1,000 Dolls


It's always a treat finding out that a little-known film from one of your favourite stars is finally getting a DVD release. In this case it's forgotten Vincent Price classic, House of 1,000 Dolls. Be prepared for lots of the horror maestro's macabre glances in this 1967 thriller from Brit director Jeremy Summer.

A young couple (George Nader and Anne Smyrner) vacationing in Tangiers meet an old friend who's girlfriend has been kidnapped by international slave traders. They soon become intertwined in a strange plot involving a sinister magician (Vincent Price), his glamorous assistant (Martha Hyer) and dozens of missing women.

House of 1,000 Dolls is far more than your average sixties horror flick - Jeremy Summer's feature carefully combines elements of a classic murder mystery and the espionage thriller, alongside more traditional assets of the horror genre. Penned by Harry Alan Towers (the man behind the Christopher Lee Fu Manchu features), House of 1,000 Dolls has a real sense of intrigue and mystery. What begins as an almost Hostel like premise,  ventures into a classic sleazy European espionage thriller featuring shady henchmen, missing persons and some curious accents.

There are also several solid performances to keep things convincing. Vincent Price's character may not be one of his most memorable, but the actor still has enough charisma and screen presence to command audience attention. He and Martha Hyer have a terrific on-screen chemistry, both working well as a sinister illusionist duo. Praise should also go to Towers script for the rather original (and slightly campy) concept of magicians literally making people disappear. This soon leads to some of the more darker elements of the film, where we discover the torture the kidnapped women receive.

Another highlight of House of 1,000 Dolls is the well staged, particularly dramatic and unexpected conclusion. There's also a some rather clever little twists, that ensure the last few scenes are gripping viewing.

House of 1,000 Dolls will certainly satisfy fans of the classic Euro-thriller. There's much to enjoy including its well crafted atmosphere and exciting narrative, as well as enjoyable supporting turns from Vincent Price and Martha Hyer.

Rating: 7/10 

You can buy House of 1,000 Dolls from Amazon UK.
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