A man painting a picture of an old rundown house is approached by another man. A storm comes up so the two men go into the house to wait it out. Scattered around the house and grounds are large stone hands. The second man says that the hands are cursed and that they have in turn cursed the house and anyone who lives in it. The second man then tells the artist two stories to prove his point.
Robert Braun (Carlos Cores) moves into the house with his bride (Judith Sulian). He receives a letter from the bank telling him that unless he pays his outstanding debt he will face eviction. Braun goes to town and has a conversation with a friend of his. Braun knows his friend is a member of a gambling club. He wants his friend to take him to the club so he can try to win the money he needs to pay the bank. The club has some unusual rules.
Braun loses and signs and IOU for more money to gamble. He loses again. According to the clubs rules when a new member is accepted he signs a life insurance policy and can incur losses up to the amount of the policy. When that occurs the members of the club must participate in the drawing of cards to see who will be executed so that the club can collect on their policies. There are two people executed and two executioners. The two who draw the queen of hearts are executed and the two that draw the ace of hearts are the executioners. Robert draws the queen of hearts.
Next to move into the house was the storyteller (Ernesto Vilches), his sister, his brother-in-law and their three children Charles (Alejandro Flores), Jamie (Horacio Peterson) and Beth (Chela Bon). The oldest son, Charles, becomes obsessed with the stone hands. Over the years he becomes sadistic. When their parents die in a drowning accident at sea Charles becomes the master of the house.Eventually Jamie becomes engaged to Ruth. While he is away at school Charles marries Ruth. Jamie finds out when he returns for the Christmas break. Jamie is still in love with Ruth and she eventually breaks from Charles’ spell. When Charles finds out that Ruth and Jamie plan on running away together he goes gunning after Ruth.
“Curse of the Stone Hand” was released in 1965 and was directed by Jerry Warren, Carlos Schlieper and Carlos Hugo. It is a compilation of two Chilean movies from the 40’s that were edited together by producer Jerry Warren in a sort of a bastardized quasi-anthology. One film “La casa está vacía” AKA “The House is Empty” was a 1945 film directed by Carlos Schlieper. The other was “La dama de la muerte” AKA “The Lady of Death”, a 1946 film directed by Carlos Hugo Christensen that was based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1878 short story collection “The Suicide Club”.
Warren’s contribution to the film was to add some additional footage with John Carradine as a grounds keeper and Katherine Victor as a woman whose sister is having an affair with Charles. There’s lots of canned music and bad dubbing. The editing is horrendous. The first story is a little easier to follow since Warren mostly just moved the scenes around and added his own dubbing. The second story, however, is just a mish mash of bits and pieces of scenes spliced together with no cohesion whatsoever. Warren also added some scenes from the first movie and some of his own extra scenes making it even more unpalatable. The film was actually shown in theaters and matched with another one of Warren’s cut and paste films, “Face of the Screaming Werewolf” 1965.
I’ve heard that the two original movies were actually good and made by a couple of the best and most respected Argentinean directors but after Warren got through with them they no longer looked anything like the original films. As for Jerry Warren, his work ranks below Roger Corman’s brother Gene and Billy Wilder’s brother W. Lee Wilder. I have to say that, so far, this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen.