8 May 1999 | sanzar
Career U-Turns for Chaney, Carradine!
"House of the Black Death", an obscure B & W horror pic from the mid-60's, marked Lon Chaney's entrance into the world of Grade Z schlock, a domain already inhabited by his co-star, John Carradine. Unfortunately, both stars would continue a downward career spiral from this point on, making numerous low-grade bombs along the way.
The story here involves dueling warlocks, battling for control of the Desard family in the village of Wydeburne, wherever that is. Chaney's Belial is on the outside, looking in, lusting for his brother Andre's (Carradine)fortune. Belial employs his coven of witches to bedevil the opposing members of the Desard family in his quest for power. Spells are cast, demons and Werewolves are invoked (although mostly off-screen) but the end result is viewer boredom, thanks to an incoherently talky script and stilted performances.
As originally filmed, this picture was obviously an unreleasable mess. Hence, the producers invited noted hack Jerry Warren ("Face of the Screaming Werewolf", "Teenage Zombies", "Incredible Petrified World", plus many more truly awful movies) to try to piece things together. Warren dragged in his longtime "star" Katherine Victor, for a few insert shots and dropped in some dancing girl segments, all to little avail. The movie remained unreleasable and received few, if any, playdates under an assortment of titles.
Don't look for it on TV: your only chance to view this disaster is probably by ordering a copy from a PD video dealer. Take my advice, save your money!