Made in the 1983, House Of The Long Shadows so desperately wants to be a 1960s Hammer Horror that it hurts. Sadly, it really doesn’t have either the budget, the style, or the chutzpah. But the fact that it stars Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine goes a long way towards lifting it out of the B movie bargain bucket.
Long Shadows is a creaky, old dark house thriller, in which cliches and absurd plot twists abound. Based on Ear Derr Bigger’s 1913 novel, Seven Keys To Baldpate, it was originally filmed in 1917 and then again 1947. Director Peter Walker’s version doesn’t do the source material any favours. Despite that, the veteran actors clearly enjoy every moment and part of the fun of the film is watching these movie greats so casually add shine and sparkle to every scene.
House Of The Long Shadows feels like one of those films you discover on late night TV that you know wouldn’t be as fun or as engaging if you were sober. Watch without expectations. Watch for the joy of seeing four horror icons do what they do best. But do watch. Peter Walker himself said “it’s…not as bad as I thought”. In fact, despite what you may have heard—and read—it’s not that bad at all.
House Of The Long Shadows is an entertaining romp and one that anyone with a penchant for genre films should own.