Sunday, 6 October 2013

DVD Review - American Horror Stories

American Horror Stories
12 Movie Collection
Directors: Robert Hammer, Alex Nicol, William Castle, Roger Corman, Eugenio Martín, Mario Caiano, Theodore Gershuny,
Massimo Pupillo, Abel Ferrara, S.F. Brownrigg,
Stu Segall
Starring: James Westmoreland, Peter Carpenter, Vincent Price, Dick Miller, Christopher Lee, Jack Nicholson, Barbara Steele, Patrick O'Neal, Mickey Hargitay, Abel Ferrara, Rosie Holotick, Jake Barnes
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Retail: $9.98
Running Time: 16 hours 17 minutes
Rating: R, Not Rated


Just in time for Halloween is the recently released American Horror Stories 12 movie collection from Mill Creek Entertainment featuring several cult classics and drive-in movies that have been long forgotten.

The three-disc set features:

Don't Answer The Phone! - Released in 1980, the film follows a Vietnam vet turned photographer Kurt Smith as he stalks and strangles young women, barely keeping one step ahead of the cops. This is a sick, twisted and over-the-top film that has received many horrible reviews over the years and there is a reason why.

Point of Terror - Filmed in 1971, but it wasn't released until 1973 after the death of actor Peter Carpenter. The movie was billed as a horror movie, but it is far from it, as it is more of a sexploitation melodrama. Despite slow pacing and a cliché' ending, I somewhat liked it.

House on Haunted Hill - I’m sure all horror fans have seen the original 1959 William Castle's House on Haunted Hill starring Vincent Price as millionaire Frederick Loren, who invites five guests to attend the party he is throwing for his wife. Each guest will get $10,000 if they stay in the locked house overnight. This is one of my favorite horror classics.

A Bucket of Blood - Roger Corman's 1959 tale feels more like an episode of Tales From The Crypt!  Dick Miller stars as a young busboy who accidentally kills his landlord's cat and has to hide the evidence, he covers the cat's body in clay. Oddly, other people see the cat sculpture and considers it art. And of course to make more art, he has to kill again. It may have a low-low-budget, but it isn't a bad movie.

Horror Express - Horror Vets Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing star in this 1972 film. After finding a frozen monster in Manchuria, Professor Alexander Saxton is bringing the creature back to Europe on a trans-Siberian express, but the frozen creature thaws out and causes chaos. The silly ape-man story is only worth watching for Lee and Cushing.

The Little Shop of Horrors - Another Roger Corman horror-comedy that came out in 1960 stars Jonathan Haze as Seymour Krelboyne, a florist shop employee who discovers one of the plants is carnivorous and he begins a killing spree to feed it. Jack Nicholson and Dick Miller also star in this classic. I have never liked the 1986 version, but the 1960 is cheap-made, fun film.

Nightmare Castle - This 1965 film has a scientist learning that his wife is cheating on him, therefore he tortures and kills his wife and her lover, but they return from the dead seeking revenge. The plot reminds me of one of the segments from Creepshow. It is a creepy gothic film that is worth watching a few times.

Silent Night, Blood Night - It says it was released in 1974 on the back of the DVD jacket, but it was actually released in 1972. Jeffrey Butler inherited his late grandfather's home and arrives in town just as the elders are trying to buy it. He begins investigating his grandfather's strange death. Meanwhile, and escaped mental patient is killing his way toward the town. Ignore the low-budget and enjoy it for what it is. Not a bad slasher movie.

Bloody Pit Of Horror - In this 1965 film, a group of models arrive at an eerie castle to shoot some covers for a few upcoming horror novels, but a crazy-man, who believes he is the reincarnation of the 17th Century Crimson Executioner, is devoted to getting rid of all trespassers. It is a cheesy, well-made flick that is decently entertaining.

The Driller Killer - This low-budget psychodrama slasher film was released back in 1979 and it has more of a grudge feeling to it. The plot involves a struggling artist having a hard time paying the bills He slowly goes bad, buys a power drill and goes on a killing spree. The music is horrible, the acting is even worse, but it wasn't good or bad.

Don't Look In The Basement - This 1973 drive-in classic has Nurse Charlotte Beale taking a job at the isolated Stephens Sanitarium, only to find the patients like to prey on the weak. This is one of the best low-budget films and it has several scary moments.

Drive-In Massacre - A psychopath is cutting peoples heads off with a sword at a drive-in theater in this 1977 film (the back of the DVD jacket has it as being released in 1973). Typical slasher movie with all the clichés; boring!

I have to admit that I love the wicked DVD cover, though there are some date errors on the back of it. Most of the films in the collection are either from the public domain or are from a really bad print, so don't be expecting digitally restored versions, there more like a VHS copy. That being said, I enjoyed watching most of the films, though there are a few duds. Don't Look In The Basement and House On Haunted Hill are two of my favorites. I wish the picture quality was better, but the movies were still watchable. For twelve movies for fewer than ten dollars, I do recommend it to other horror fans.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


  1. I have been meaning to watch House on Haunted Hill. I am going to have to watch it this month.

    1. Watch the original, though the remake isn't that bad.


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