'At Death's Door: 13 Fright-Filled Films'
(Vincent Price, John Carradine, Barbara Steele, Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff, et al / 3-DVD / R / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: With over 18 hours of Pure Terror, these thirteen terrifying tales of eerie places and dangerous inhabitants will have you sleeping with the lights on and jumping at every noise you hear!
DVD Verdict: Disc 1 kicks off the 13 movies with 'Carnage' (1983, Color, 92 Minutes, Rated R). Starring Leslie Den Dooven, Michael Chiodo, and John Garitt, it is the story of Carol and Jonathan, a newlywed couple who move into their new house - which is haunted by the ghosts of another newlywed couple who committed suicide in the house three years earlier! Next up is 'Cathy's Curse' (1977, Color, 82 Minutes, Rated R). Starring Alan Scarfe, Beverly Murray, and Randi Allen, it is the story of a young girl possessed by the spirit of her dead aunt, who died in a car accident. Soon members of her family begin to mysteriously die off. In 'Funeral Home' (1980, Color, 93 Minutes, Rated R), starring Kay Hawtrey, Lesleh Donaldson, and the always-great Barry Morse, an old funeral parlor now converted into a tourist home during certain periods such as the summer, develops a problem, when a escaped mental patient with a split personality moves in and proceeds to do away with those specific/certain guests or staff, he/she feels are nosy or immoral.
In 'Lurkers' (1988, Color, 94 Minutes, Rated R) starring Christine Moore, Gary Warner, and Marina Taylor, the convoluted storyline is that Cathys mother killed her father and tried to kill her when she was ten. Her younger brother, a priest, holds her responsible. Fifteen years later Bob manipulates a clingy, drippy Cathy into falling in love with him. He lures her back to the apartment building of her youth for a so-called work party. There, he and his business partner Monica and a few of their oddly pathetic friends hold Cathy hostage for a few hours before forcing her off the side of the building roof. She becomes one of them, a 'lurker'.
Disc 2 begins with 'Don't Look in the Basement' (1973, Color, 90 Minutes, Rated R) and stars Bill McGhee, Jessie Lee Fulton, and Robert Dracup and was originally called, 'The Forgotten.' Nurse Charlotte Beale arrives at the isolated Stephens Sanitarium to work, only to learn that Dr. Stephens was murdered by one of the patients and his successor, Dr. Geraldine Masters, is not very eager to take on new staff. Charlotte finds her job maddeningly hard as the patients torment and harass her at every turn, and she soon learns why Dr. Masters is so eager to keep outsiders out. In 'The Ghost' (1963, Color, 96 Minutes, Not Rated) starring the delightful Barbara Steele, Peter Baldwin, and Elio Jotta, a woman and her lover murder her husband, a doctor. Soon, however, strange things start happening, and they wonder if they really killed him, or if he is coming back from the dead to haunt them.
In 'Legacy of Blood' (1971, Color, 83 Minutes, Rated R) starring Rodolfo Acosta, Merry Anders, Norman Bartold and the always-wonderful John Carradine (and originally titled, 'Will to Die'), in order to qualify to inherit the family fortune, the four heirs must spend the night in the family estate. However, during the night someone starts killing them off. In 'The Murder Mansion' (1972, Color, 84 Minutes, Not Rated), and once titled 'Maniac Mansion' (or indeed, 'La mansión de la niebla') starring Ida Galli, Analía Gadé, and Lisa Leonardi, a couple, lost in thick fog, take refuge in an old mansion next to a cemetery. Strange things start to happen.
Disc 3 opens with 'Tormented' (1960, BW, 75 Minutes, Not Rated) starring Richard Carlson, Susan Gordon, and Lugene Sanders, it opens on an island community off of California, where Tom Stewart is preparing to marry the woman he loves. His plans are threatened by his old girlfriend, Vi, who shows up secretly. During a confrontation at the top of the island's lighthouse, the railing breaks and Vi falls. Tom has a chance to save her but doesn't. In 'The Screaming Skull' (1958, BW, 68 Minutes, Not Rated) starring John Hudson, Peggy Webber, and the great Russ Conway, newlyweds Eric and Jenni Whitlock retire to his desolate mansion, where Eric's first wife Marianne died from a mysterious freak accident. Jenni, who has a history of mental illness, begins to see strange things including a mysterious skull, which may or may not be a product of her imagination.
In the infamous 'House on Haunted Hill' (1959, BW, 75 Minutes, Not Rated) starring the one, the ONLY (save for that Cushing fella!) Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, and Richard Long, eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren (Price) and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a "haunted House" party. Whoever will stay in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors. In 'The Terror' (1963, Color, 80 Minutes, Not Rated) starring the brilliant Boris Karloff, a very young, smooth-looking Jack Nicholson, and Sandra Knight, we begin in France during the 18th Century. Lieutenant Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) has been accidentally separated from his regiment. He is wandering near the coast when he sees a young woman (Sandra Knight) and asks her for directions to Coldon, where he hopes to rejoin his regiment. But the woman doesn't answer, doesn't even greet him and walks away. Eventually she takes him towards the sea, where she disappears in rough water. Andre loses consciousness while trying to follow her, and is attacked by a bird and awakes in a house where an old woman (Dorothy Neumann) claims never to have seen the woman. After he leaves, he sees the woman again, and while trying to follow her, is saved by a man from certain death. Trust me, it gets even weirder as the plot moves on!
In the final of the 13 tales, 'Terror Creatures from the Grave' (1965, BW, 82 Minutes, Not Rated) starring Walter Brandi, Mirella Maravidi, and Barbara Steele, 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 plague victims and, in fact, his spirit was roaming the castle at that very moment. Soon occupants of the castle begin to die off in gruesome, violent ways. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.