BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH (REVIEW)
Dir. Ray Cameron
Reviewer. Dan Cook
What a delightfully daft way to start my horror movie marathon. Combining the risqué humour of a seaside postcard with the gory excess of an 80’s slasher film, the hilariously titled BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH is a star-studded British comedy that may not be the most sophisticated of fare but nonetheless had me laughing like an idiot from beginning to end.
Radio legend Kenny Everett leads the cast as a paranormal researcher who, with a team of fellow scientists, travels to a remote creepy house to investigate a horrific massacre that claimed the lives of 18 people. As expected, the late great Everett shines here as the metal-legged Dr. Lukas Mandeville, whose past hides a dark (and raucously gruesome) secret. At the time of production, Everett was under a lot of media fire for his headline-making comments at a Young Conservatives rally and as a result, BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH would ultimately suffer critically and financially.
However, despite the controversy that was surrounding him at the time, Kenny Everett gives a fantastically energetic performance, proving to be a most capable leading man with just as much physical and charismatic prowess as fellow comedians such as John Cleese, Steve Martin and Rowan Atkinson. It’s a shame then that he never got to achieve the cinematic fame that was so easily in his grasp.
Alongside Everett is a host of great character actors including Pamela Stevenson, John Fortune, Gareth Hunt Cleo Rocos, Shiela Stiefel, Don Warrington and, most memorably, Vincent Price in his final horror role as a foul-mouthed Satanist. Every single actor plays their archetypal role perfectly and while some are given more screen time than others, all deliver their A-game to director Ray Cameron and co-writer Barry Cryer’s gag-filled script.
Satirising everything from THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, CARRIE, JAWS, STAR WARS, ET and THE ENTITY as well as a host of Hammer pictures, BLOODBATH AT THE HOUSE OF DEATH is a witty, visually arresting, surprisingly violent and consistently funny farce that should definitely appeal to those who, like myself, regularly indulge in the bloodiest and most depraved of movies. Highly, highly recommended.