Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Old Dark House (1963)

"The Old Dark House" (1963, William Castle, William Castle-Hammer, Columbia Pictures) is a horror-comedy remake of a film of the same name from 1932 and is based on a novel by J.B. Priestley.

Tom Penderel (Tom Poston) is an American car-salesman working and living in London. He is flat-sharing with an eccentric, rich fellow called Casper Femm (Peter Bull) and is invited by Casper to see his family's mansion and deliver his new car there. When he reaches the house he discovers that his friend is dead and that Casper's family will not let him leave the house. They reveal that all Femm family members must be present at the mansion each night by midnight or else they will forfeit their share of the family fortune. Penderel is not initially too concerned until it seems that someone in the house is hell-bent on keeping the full Femm fortune for just themselves, and they won't let anyone stand in their way!

A cheesy, fun, Castle film with a cast of weird and unusual characters (played by some iconic faces) and a divinely dilapidated setting. It's silly and hammy and contains ridiculous fight scenes. And it is good fun.

While it is extremely dated not just in styling, but in humour, the film is still very enjoyable and worth checking out.

[Image: Columbia Pictures, et al]