Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The House That Dripped Blood and Using the TARDIS to solve the curtain dying Dilemma.

So I am back talking about another actor who played the role of The Doctor in Doctor Who and the horror movie he took part in. There are more similarities here than just that though because once again it is in a horror anthology film and it is an Amicus Production.

In this case though the Doctor Who actor was Tom Bakers predecessor Jon Pertwee the man who also brought us the awesomeness that was Worzel Gummidge as well as the character of Spotty from Super Ted.

The film I am talking about is the Amicus anthology The House that Dripped Blood. It is an anthology of four horror stories which all revolve around a mysterious rental house in the UK.

Now before I get in to the review I can use this post as an excuse to tell a wonderful family story which I otherwise wouldn't have much reason to tell. It is only really related to this review and this film in the fact that it involves Jon Pertwee. My Father is retired now but he used to be the manager of a large dry cleaning and clothes dying factory. He was more than this though he was essentially an expert in dying clothes, he could do things by hand with a garment, the dye, a large vat and a stick which most people wouldn't attempt now without all manner of equipment. He dyed things for royals, for famous clothes designers, sports teams and sometimes for various actors. He did a lot of work but didn't get much credit for it as it was seen as the businesses work not his own, which I guess is the way of the world really. Still one day he found himself face to face with Jon Pertwee discussing some curtains. Apparently they were beautiful old fashioned intricate curtains but they were really starting to show there age. The short of it is that Mr Pertwee wanted them dying to try and bring some life back to them, to hide any blemishes they had developed from age and wear and his inquiry had led him to my Father. My Dad is actually a big fan of Doctor Who and well all Science fiction in general really but he also has a very dry sense of humour and not only that he likes to talk straight, to not give any one any false hope and to just tell it how it is. After having given the curtains a thorough inspection he had to unfortunately inform Mr Pertwee that it wouldn't be possible to dye the curtains because they were now too old and worn and that the chemicals used to dye this sort of thing wouldn't help they would in fact merely further ruin the item, literally causing the curtains to fall apart. So far this wasn't that different to what my Dad had done a million times before, obviously if someone's coat or trousers or curtains wont survive the dying process then you need to tell them no matter how attached they are to the item or how much you don't wish to be the bearer of bad news. It was usually at this point that the customer would shrug get a bit of a defeated look about them, shake my fathers hand and leave but this is not what Mr Pertwee did, no instead he asked what he could do about it. This might seem like a perfectly normal question and to some degree it is, most people in this position would respond with a line along the lines of ''unfortunately there is nothing you can do, the item is simply not in a dyeable state''. The thing is though my Dad is not most people, he has a strange and dry sense of humour which rears its head in often very amusing ways. My Dad instead began to explain to Jon Pertwee that all he needed to do was step inside the TARDIS and go back in time and fetch the curtains from a point in the past when they would still have been in a dyeable condition. Unfortunately either Mr Pertwee had already met enough wise remarks about him being a time lord or he simply didn't see the funny side but this story always makes me laugh, I think the comment would have gone down better with Tom Baker I think it would fit his sense of humour more.

OK so amusing story out of the way there was a lot of things I liked about Pertwee's Doctor even if he was before my time. I liked how he had a position as UNIT's science advisor, I loved the action martial arts side he showed, the speeding around in Bessie but most of all I loved the theatrical delivery he brought to the part after Patrick Troughton's clownish behaviour (which I also love) Pertwee came and brought a real sense of authority to the part, he sold everything as being life or death and of utmost importance even when the effects and monsters might have seemed rather campy at times and this was something I was certain he could bring to the world of horror.

This film has more to connect it to Doctor who than just Jon Pertwee though Peter Cushing another star of this film (and nearly all Amicus productions) played Dr. Who in the previous Amicus films Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., film adoptions of early Dr Who stories with some diffrences notably the fact that they feature a human who invented a time travel machine called the Tardis, who is called Dr Who (rather than The Doctor) and which are not considered cannon (I would still advise fans to watch them as they are fun little movies which I feel Cushing excels in), Joanna Lumley, who played a female version of the Doctor in the Comic Relief special  Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death  has an uncredited minor role and finally Geoffrey Bayldon who played  Organon in the Doctor Who story The Creature from the Pit and who later played the Doctor in two audio dramas also appears in this film.

Ok so now I will give a quick rundown of the stories involved in this anthology, the first is "Method For Murder" A horror writer moves into the house with his wife and is haunted by visions of a character from his latest novel, a character who just so happens to be a psychopathic murderer. Then we have "Waxworks" Two friends (one of which is played by the awesome Peter Cushing) become fixated with a waxwork museum that appears to contain a waxwork of a lady that they both knew.The third story is called "Sweets to the Sweet" A private teacher is troubled by the way in which a widowed man (Christopher Lee) treats his young daughter, she finds it surprising that he wont even let her have a doll. The man seems almost scared of her and is very severe and controlling but she cant seem to see why.The last story is called "The Cloak" A horror film actor played by Jon Pertwee (the third Doctor) moves into a house while starring in a vampire film which is being shot nearby. He visits a shop which is run by a strange shop keeper, a black clock takes his eye, he feels that if he buys this it will help to get him in to the part that it will make him feel like a vampire and so he buys it to use as his character's costume. When he tries on the cloak he soon leaned that it seems to give its wearer certain powers.

The funny thing about this film is that for a film called The House That Dripped Blood there is basically no real blood in this film, its a very tame film that relies on its stories rather than cheap gore which makes it a great film for those who are either trying to get in to horror or for those who are trying to introduce there kids to horror at a sensible age (Basically if you can handle the scarier Doctor Who stories then you should be able to handle this film). Both Cushing and Lee give great performances in this film as they pretty much always did. Jon Pertwee is also excellent, he plays the part of a professional actor who is very passionate about his craft and very picky about the things which will be in the movie he is in, the scenery, the costumes, he plays this so well it makes you wonder if he was actually like this, then you remember some of the plastic and baking foil monsters he did battle with on Doctor Who and you know he cant have been that bad.

This film is definitely worth a watch whether you want to see some good little horror stories or if you want to see another Doctor playing a different kind of character. Oh and look out for the picture of the Doctors Car Bessie which can be seen in this film.

No comments:

Post a Comment