John Carradine introduces five tales of horror.
“The Witches Clock” Bob and Julie Farrell (Roger Gentry, Karen Joy) have just purchased an old mansion. Bob is a writer of mystery stories and believes that living in an old house will bring him inspiration. While inspecting the house they find an old grandfather clock in the cellar. They move it upstairs and get it working. Suddenly there is a knock at the door. The man at the door says his name is Tristram Halbin (John Carradine). He says he use to know the old owners. The Farrell’s hire him as a handyman. The town doctor, Dr. Finchley (Vic McGee) stops by. He tells Bob about the history of witches in the area, especially a real witch named Lucy Mailer who enchanted a clock that could bring back the dead.
“King Vampire” Scotland Yard is trying to track down a serial killer the press calls King Vampire. All the victims are young women and all have bite marks on their necks. Inspector Marsh (Ron Brogan) and Detective John Brenner (Ron Doyle) investigate. An innocent man is attacked and killed by a mob. Then more women are killed. The investigation stalls. Scotland Yard is unaware that King Vampire is closer than they realize.
“Monster Raid” A Scientist, Dr. Charles Spalding (Ron Doyle) creates an experimental drug that is supposed to unlock the mysteries of cellular memories. His wife Helen (Rochelle Hudson) and his friend James Sevard (Vic McGee) use it to kill Charles so they can be together. What they don’t know is that there is a side effect they didn’t plan for.
"Spark of Life" Dr. Mendell (Lon Chaney Jr.) is convinced that Eric Frankenstein’s theories of bringing back the dead have merit. Two of Mendell’s students, Cushing (Ron Doyle) and Sedgewick (Joey Benson) talk him into trying to bring back someone from the dead. Mendell succeeds but the man they reanimate is a convicted killer named Amos Duncan (Vic McGee).
"Count Alucard" Jonathan Harker (Roger Gentry) travels to the castle belonging to Count Alucard (Mitch Evans). His mission is to bring the deed to Carfax Abbey to the Count. The Count has purchased the old abbey that is situated outside of London. There have been deaths recently that appear to be the work of a vampire. It’s not long before the townspeople with the pitchforks show up at the castle. Harker joins in on the hunt to do away with the vampires. What the townspeople don’t know is that Harker has reasons of his own for getting rid of them.
“Gallery of Horrors” AKA “Dr. Terror’s Gallery of Horrors” AKA “Return from the Past” AKA “Alien Massacre” AKA “The Blood Suckers” was released in 1967 and was directed by David L. Hewitt. It is a low budget five story horror anthology based on stories by Russ Jones. The anthology stars John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr.
Director David Hewitt is probably the king of cardboard sets. In fairness he’s done a couple films that I really did like even though they were low budget “B” films. This one, however, was cringe worthy. I’m use to the cheap sets and the stock footage. The real horror of these stories is the acting. And they use the same actors for all the movies. That way you get to watch the same horrible actors over and over again. I keep repeating things like “it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen” and in this case, OK, yes it isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, or even the top ten but it isn’t really good either.
The story “The Witches Clock” includes a piece of stock footage from Roger Corman's “The Fall of the House of Usher” 1960. In particular the burning of the house which Roger himself used in several of his Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. There is also some matte pictures from “The Pit and the Pendulum” 1961 as well. There may be more but those are the ones that stood out for me. The ending credits refer to the fifth story as “Count Dracula” instead of “Count Alucard”. A lot of the music is also canned.