House of the Damned (1963 film)

House of the Damned is a 1963 horror thriller film, shot in CinemaScope. It was produced and directed by Maury Dexter, and stars Ron Foster, Merry Anders, Richard Crane, Erika Peters and Richard Kiel.[1]

House of the Damned
House of the Damned (1963 film).jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byMaury Dexter
Written byHarry Spalding
Produced byMaury Dexter
StarringRon Foster
Merry Anders
Richard Crane
Erika Peters
CinematographyJohn M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Edited byJodie Copelan
Music byHenryk Wars (as Henry Vars)
Distributed byTwentieth Century-Fox
Release date
March 1963
Running time
63 minutes


Architect Scott Campbell (Ron Foster) and his wife (Merry Anders) survey an old mansion where the previous tenant disappeared. Strange noises, eerie sights and vanishing keys ruin their attempt at a wedding anniversary. Things get worse after Scott's employer (Richard Crane) and his wife arrive, and his employer's wife is kidnapped.



Harry Spalding said he was inspired to write the film by the movie Freaks and wondering what happened to the sort of characters who used to work in freak shows in circuses.[2]

Exteriors are filmed at the former Bugsy Siegel Mansion (later owned by Madonna) in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Lake Hollywood reservoir.

The movie was shot over seven days.[2]


Home mediaEdit

The film was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox on September 5, 2006. The company would release the film again in 2010 as a part of its 4-disk 75th Anniversary Studio Classics collection. It was later released by Fox on June 27, 2017.[3]


House of the Damned has received mixed reviews from critics. Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film two out of four stars, calling it "Modestly suspenseful" but criticized the film's ending as being "surprisingly wistful".[4] Brett Gallman from Oh, the Horror! gave the film a mixed review, commending the film's moody cinematography, atmosphere, and occasional chills generated by the title house's tenants, but criticized the film's underwhelming revelation, and "failure to deliver on its intrigue".[5] Craig Butler from AllMovie called the film "dull", criticizing the film's cheapness, script and cardboard characters, while also complimenting Nickolaus' cinematography as "above-average"[6]


  1. ^ "HOUSE OF THE DAMNED". Monthly Film Bulletin. London. 30 (348): 158. 1 January 1963. ProQuest 1305822024.
  2. ^ a b Weaver, Tom (19 February 2003). Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews. McFarland. p. 3330. ISBN 9780786482153.
  3. ^ "House of the Damned (1963) - Maury Dexter". AllMovie. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  4. ^ Leonard Maltin; Spencer Green; Rob Edelman (January 2010). Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide. Plume. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-452-29577-3.
  5. ^ Gallman, Brett. "Horror Reviews - House of the Damned (1963)". Oh, the Brett Gallman. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  6. ^ Butler, Craig. "House of the Damned (1963) - Maury Dexter". Craig Butler. Retrieved 14 November 2017.

External linksEdit