Combustible Celluloid
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With: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Desi Arnaz Jr., John Carradine, Sheila Keith, Julie Peasgood, Richard Todd, Louise English, Richard Hunter, Norman Rossington
Written by: Michael Armstrong, based on a novel by Earl Derr Biggers, and a play by George M. Cohan
Directed by: Pete Walker
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 100
Date: 06/17/1983

House of the Long Shadows (1983)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Old-Timer Kills

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Producers Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan gave the veteran English horror filmmaker Pete Walker a chance to assemble some of the great horror stars who were still around in 1983 and make a new movie, to be distributed by Cannon Films. Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and John Carradine came on board, but the problem is that none of them got the lead role. That went to -- wait for it -- Desi Arnaz Jr. He plays a cocky young writer who bets that he can write a best-seller in 24 hours, if only he has a quiet place to work. He is sent to a remote mansion that is, strangely, not quite deserted. It happens to be the one night that a bizarre family has returned for a kind of hideous reunion; and no one is quite who he claims to be. The atmosphere is impressive, and story isn't too bad, but Arnaz acts like an entitled jerk throughout, bossing everyone around and being generally uncouth. Thankfully, those four great old guys are real gentlemen. Kino Lorber released this on Blu-ray in 2015; the disc includes commentary tracks by Walker and film historian David Del Valle, an interview with Walker, and trailers.

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