Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Wanting a big screen vehicle for the outrageous British TV comic Kenny Everett, writers Ray Cameron and Barry Cryer devised the OTT horror spoof, Bloodbath at the House of Death, that’s a mash-up of Legend of the Hell House, Friday the 13th and host of other classic horrors, and pre-dated the successful Scary Movie franchise.

Headstone Manor is the gruesome scene of a multiple murder. Ten years later, two paranormal researchers (Everett and Pamela Stephenson) head up a scientific team to investigate strange reports of radioactive readings. One night, unknown to the scientists, a 700-year-old satanist called the Sinister Man (Vincent Price) conducts a ‘rather awesome’ ceremony known as the Night of Blood in a bid to return The Master. What follows it truly awe-ful…

Tedious, unfunny and unscary, this was a waste everyone’s time and talent, especially Price – whose last British feature this was. Price agreed to do the cameo because he was friends with Cameron (who later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, aged 55, in 1993). But while Price delivers his lines at his most mellifluous and seems to be having a ball, those four letter words he utters were cringe-worthy. It just wasn’t the scary Uncle Vincent that we all knew and had grown up with.

Among the famous faces trying to make sense of this mess were Cleo Rocos, John Fortune, Sheila Steafel, Don Warrington and Gareth Hunt. Supplying the voice of ET was the director’s son, future stand-up comic Michael McIntrye. It was shot on location in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire on 6 June 1983 and released on 29 March 1984 in te UK; and in May 1984 in the US.

Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

IN 2008, the film was re-released onto DVD by Nucleus Films in the UK following a remastering from the original film vault negatives, and included a documentary featuring interviews with Executive Producers Stuart Donaldson and Laurence Myers, with archive footage of Kenny Everett, plus the original filming script (.PDF format). Check it out here.

Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Can you spot the following films being spoofed in the movie? Try this as a drinking game next time you watch it… it might make the crap comedy all the more bearable.
• The Invisible Man (1933)
• Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
• The Tingler (1959)
• City of the Dead (1960)
• The Haunting (1963)
• The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
• The Legend of Hell House (1973)
• The Exorcist
• The Amityville Horror
• The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
• Carrie (1976)
• Alien (1979)
• Friday the 13th (1980)
• Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
• The Shining (1980)
• An American Werewolf in London (1981)
• E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
• The Entity (1982)

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