* This is the second installment in the series “Karloff’s Bizarre and Final Six Pack.”
Boris Karloff‘s series of Mexican films is anything but routine. Of the entire ill-reputed group, House of Evil (1968) has something that most resembles a traditional plot. It is orthodox only in that it is a retread of the old dark house scenario. However, that genre is filtered through such bizarre ineptness that it would be an incredulous stretch to claim House of Evil is a film bordering on coherency. The movie is available via that valuable distributor, Sinister Cinema. Their brief assessment of House of Evil is telling: they describe it as simply “not bad.”
As with Fear Chamber, House was co-directed by Jack Hill and Juan Ibanez and co-stars south of the border sexpot Julissa. A murdered girl has been found by local villagers and, just like another recent victim, her eyes have been torn out. Upon hearing the news, Matthias Morteval (Karloff) is mightily upset. His friend and doctor, Emery (Angel Espinoza), tries to simultaneously caution and calm Matthias. Dr. Emery reminds Matthias of similar murders in Vienna, involving Matthias’ brother Hugo. Before a painting of his late father, Matthias pulls himself together and vows to rid their garden of the evil weed that has sprung up. As the camera pans, we see that the eyes have been cut out of the fatherly figure in the painting.
With the aid of Dr. Emery, Matthias calls all of his relatives to spend the weekend at Morhenge Mansion. Most of the greedy relatives believe the aged Matthias is going to include them in his will. Lucy Durant (Julissa) is Matthias’ niece and, although she is not given to avarice, she too arrives for the weekend with her fiancee, the bland Charles (Andres Garcia), who also happens to be an inspector investigating the recent murders of young girls.
Given Karloff’s health, his portrayal of Matthias is surprisingly sprightly, and he imbues the Continue reading HOUSE OF EVIL (1968)