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The Legend of Hell House (1973) – Episode 3 Decades of Horror 1970s

Haunted Houses are a tough genre to film. They can easily come off hokey or silly. There are some classics though, Haunting, The  Amityville Horror and Poltergeist. But many are overlooked and forgotten. One such film is The Legend of Hell House from director John Hough featuring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill and Gayle Hunnicutt. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten are joined by award winning director Christopher G. Moore to discuss the British classic horror film.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 3 — The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Eventhough The Legend of Hell House springs from the mind of Richard Matheson, it lives in the shadows of The Exorcist and The Haunting. One film changed the face of horror overnight while the other is often seen to have done it better years before. This is a shame as The Legend of Hell House in an intelligent and often creepily effective haunted house film taking both a scientific and supernatural look at the forces behind the haunting. Christopher steps in this week to address the differences between the book, Hell House, and the John Hough directed film while Doc shares his love for the acting chops of Roddy McDowell. Santos fondly remembers seeing the film – in the theaters – when it was released. In the end, The Legend of Hell House is a film worth revisiting and reliving.

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1 Reply to “The Legend of Hell House (1973) – Episode 3 Decades of Horror 1970s

  1. Thanks for this great podcast Doc and Santos. I only recently saw this film, really due to the fact that Doc has been so overly enthusiastic about it in different pod casts.

    With fresh eyes, I was pleasantly surprised. For an early 70’s film, it was actually pretty creepy! I’d say I was buying it all the way up till the very end.

    I was expecting a somewhat different ending in which the machine really didn’t work, but the evil entity was playing possum with Roddy McDowall’s character actually possessed. Maybe with McDowall doing the final killing and committing suicide. But…hey, that’s the kind of ending you expect in 2014!

    As it is, the ending of the film was a little too scientific for me, a little too anti-climactic. The ending with the “spirit shielding” was my least favorite part. It just seemed too Ghostbusters for such an otherwise serious supernatural film.

    Keep up the good work. I really enjoy these podcasts. And Please – bring on another cheesy 80’s film podcast with Ormsby!

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