Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Kenny Everett, Vincent Price, Pamela Stephenson, Gareth Hunt,
Six scientists investigate a strange phenomenon at the creepy Headstone Manor, the site of a mysterious massacre years earlier that took the lives of 18 guests in one night.
  • 5.1 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Barry Cryer, Writer:
  • Ray Cameron, Director:
  • Producer:
7 / 10

A bit hit and miss, like Everett's TV shows

Kenny Everett was a zany comic who started out as a DJ in the 1960s before fronting a prime time TV comedy show in the 1980s. This 1984 film is his only attempt at a big screen offering. Kenny died of AIDS-related illness in 1995, aged 50.

The film is a Hammer horror spoof, though many other films and genres are spoofed along the way. It is written by Barry Cryer, who appears in the title sequence. Eight scientists (including Kenny and, more plausibly, Dr Pamela Stephenson) investigate an old house where, 18 years earlier, 18 people were killed there in one night. The others are played by John Fortune, Sheila Steafel, Don (Rising Damp) Warrington, Gareth (coffee ads) Hunt, Cleo Rocos and John Stephen Hill. All were well known 80s British personalities but not entirely convincing as scientists!

The best known actor here is Vincent Price, though he only appears in a few scenes, as the 'sinister man'. Pat Ashton's appearance as the murdered barmaid marked her last appearance in a run of 20 years of British comedy shows before she disappeared, which is a shame as she was always good fun. It pretty much also marked the end of John Stephen Hill's acting career though he is better mapped as he went on to immerse himself in his Jesuit faith.

The film is a bit hit and miss, like Everett's TV shows - lots of scenes that don't really work, interspersed with occasional moments of genius. It is the only opportunity to see Everett on the big screen, and it represents a peak of sorts in early 80s British comedy. I don't want to judge it too harshly.

7 / 10

The "Police Squad" of horror films

This is a comedy in the tradition of Airport (Flying High) and Police Squad (or The Naked Gun), where a group of scientists are gathered to investigate the goings on at a haunted house in the country woods of Britain. Kenny Everett is the star of this film, pulling from characters developed from his various video shows to create his main character, with a good backup of other actors making up the rest of the group. The slapstick comedy (played seriously) comes frequently right from the start of the film but then tends to fall a little flat in the second half, but is still very enjoyable if you're a fan of Everett. Vincent Price's name might be a surprise for such a film, but he plays his role with the usual strength he carries. Pamela Stephenson has a memorable scene which re-energises the film, while subtle humour in other scenes carry it to the end. Check it out if you enjoy British humour.

7 / 10

Priceless Price & Everett comedy

A group of psychics and ghosthunters return to remote Headstone Manor on the anniversary of a ritualistic mass murder by mysterious monks.

I'm pleased to see only good comments registered on Bloodbath At The House Of Death, because it's one of my favourites. Favoured not for it's technical merit, but for the absolute dedication to Kenny's unique style of comedy - where no joke was either too obvious or too tasteless to be included.

Some of these jokes are supremely tasteless, for example the young woman who offers her bared breasts to the mad monk as he threatens her with a knife: "You want these, don't you?" and then she screams "Oh my god, did you say "To take away?!".

Vincent Price has a very good time as the very Sinister Man.

I was lucky to see this on the big screen here in Australia and I also considered myself lucky to have bought an ex-rental VHS years ago. However there are quite a few dark scenes which VHS tape simply cannot reproduce with adequate definition.

2011 update: In July 2008 a DVD was officially release in the UK and I am very impressed. The video and audio quality are first class (the video transferred from the original negative).

Now we get to enjoy Bloodbath in its original theatrical aspect 1.85:1 - with none of the limitations mentioned for the VHS version. The extra features are valuable - including a pdf file of the script, the UK and USA trailers, and a wonderful, highly informative 22 minute retrospective documentary. I loved seeing snippets of Kenny in Australia promoting the film - and enjoyed learning the background story of how this magnificent purposefully B grade film sadly missed getting the exposure and wide success which it truly deserved.

Twenty five years after the limited cinematic release the world has a second chance to embrace "Bloodbath At The House Of Death" as one of the all-time great kitsch cult classics.

10 / 10

A brilliant portrayal of comedy unseen nowadays.

This film had me re-winding and watching again and again years ago. Been a few years since I've seen it, and I still look for my chance!

Kenny Everett (sadly missed) brought his own brand of humour to the screen and it is seen best in this film. Supported well (by Vincent Price to name but one), he pulls a somewhat limited script out of the satanical ashes and keeps you laughing, not to mention groaning.

A comedy of the time, this film is more of a cult "do you remember?" than a film for anyone, but it's worth a look.

10 / 10

Bloodbath at the House of Death - A Brilliant Portrayal of Comedy and One of the Funniest Spoofs of all time.

Storyline:

Six Scientists arrive at the Creepy Headstone Manor to investigate a strange phenomena which was the site of a mysterious massacre years earlier where 18 guests were killed in one night. It turns out that the house is the place of a satanic cult lead by a sinister monk who plans to kill the scientists who are inhabiting this house of Satan.

Bloodbath at the House of Death is a Camp British Horror starring Horror icon Vincent Price & Comedy legend Kenny Everett. It tells the story of a group of Scientists and Experts in their field who investigate the Mysterious Blood House where 18 people were savagely murdered in one night. To it's credit the film has a lot of imagination, from original death scenes to some fantastic satirical humour! The Film itself is ahead of it's time and Price and Everett are both excellent. The Movie is favoured for the absolute dedication to Kenny's unique style of comedy, where no joke was either too obvious or too tasteless to be included. Vincent Price appears to have a very good time as the 'Sinister Man'. I enjoyed seeing snippets of Kenny in Australia promoting the film, and enjoyed learning the background story of how this magnificent purposefully B Grade Film sadly missed getting the exposure and wide success which it truly deserved. Twenty five years after the limited Cinematic release the world has a second chance to embrace "Bloodbath At The House Of Death" as one of the all time great kitsch Cult Classics.

Kenny Everett was, in my eyes, one of the Funniest and most Original Entertainers this World has ever seen. This film along with 'The adventures of Captain Kremmen' shows but a tiniest portion of the mans talent. 'Bloodbath at the House of Death.' while remaining Very British in some respects, I feel, allows Kenny Everett's sense of humour to be enjoyed World-Wide. In my opinion this really is a must see Film!

Review Brought to you Courtesy of Sir Neville Cawas Cyrus Bardoliwalla OBE