At the end of the 19th century, in a little Italian village by a lake an old statue is recovered. Soon a series of crimes start and the superstitious people of the village believe that the ... See full summary »
A journalist takes a bet that he can spend the night in a haunted castle on All Hallow's Eve. During his stay, he bears witness to the castle's gruesome past coming to life before him, and falls in with a beautiful female ghost.
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An attorney arrives at a castle to settle the estate of its recently deceased owner. The owner's wife and daughter reveal that he was someone who was able to summon the souls of ancient ... See full summary »
In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor's ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art.
A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.
The year is 1885, and necrophiliac Dr. Hitchcock likes to drug his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her. He leaves his home shattered. Several years later he remarries and returns with his wife. His wife starts to feel and hear strange things in the house.Written by
Dean Harris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Flemyng is the title character, Dr. Bernard Hichcock, a doctor / surgeon in 19th century London. His wife Margaret (Maria Teresa Vianello) dies under suspicious circumstances, and years later, Bernard marries younger woman Cynthia (a radiant Barbara Steele). She begins to see and hear strange things, and one of the questions that the story asks is whether Cynthias' visions are real or imagined. Certainly Cynthia starts to suspect her husband of something sinister. Bernards' colleague Dr. Kurt Lowe (Silvano Tranquilli) cares for her and starts wondering about Bernard himself.
Written by Ernesto Gastaldi, and directed by Mario Bavas' mentor Riccardo Freda, "The Horrible Dr. Hichcock" is fairly engrossing as a mystery, with the two of them being as vague as possible as to what Bernards' intentions are. All we know that is Bernard has a particular kink as part of his personality; this viewer won't mention it here. That helps to give a bit of a lift to what is ultimately a pretty routine story. But the story isn't the principal attraction. It's Fredas' stylized presentation, and the performances of the cast. This is a handsomely produced, suspenseful, atmospheric film, enhanced by a good soundtrack by Roman Vlad. Freda downplays elements such as sex and gore, making his film of more interest to more traditional genre lovers. It's also well paced, clocking in at a mere 77 minutes. (There is a longer, international cut running about 11 minutes longer.)
Flemyng is effective in his subtlety when it comes to his villainy. You're not quite sure what to make of him. Tranquilli is an utter stiff, but Vianello is fine as the wife, and American actress Harriet Medin, a familiar face in Italian genre cinema during this time, also comes off well as the loyal maid. Still, "The Horrible Dr. Hichcock" truly belongs to the lovely young Ms. Steele, who's got some of the most expressive eyes one will ever see. We've seen her score in villainous roles herself, and here she shows that she can also be a sympathetic heroine.
Not really a great film in this viewers' humble opinion, but it still provides fine entertainment for any fan of Italian horror.
Followed by "The Ghost".
Six out of 10.
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