The Lee/Cushing Podcast #2: Dr Terror's House of Horrors

In the second episode of The Lee/Cushing Podcast, Howard and Dan jump forward in time to discuss Cushing and Lee's sixth horror film together, 1965's trend-setting portmanteau picture, Dr Terror's House of Horrors.

Dr Terror poster.jpg

In fact, your horror hosts are so excited to discuss one of their favourite movies that they neglect to mention a number of pertinent facts about the film.  Such as what 'portmanteau' actually means (the word originally described a type of travelling bag which splits into two or more compartments, and in the modern sense portmanteau can describe, among other things*, a film such as this one which comprises several separate stories).  They also fail to consider whether Dr Terror's producer Milton Subotsky, who also scripted the film, and his co-producer Max J Rosenberg deliberately 'stole' Hammer stars Cushing, Lee and Michael Gough for the first Amicus production as a kind of revenge on Hammer for allegedly stealing Subostky's 1950s concept (and supposed script) for a colour Frankenstein film.  And although Dan notes that the film's brilliant music composer Elisabeth Lutyens was the daughter of 'a famous architect' he neglects to identify that architect as Sir Edwin Lutyens, designer of the memorial garden in Manchester's St Peter's Square - a bit of a glaring omission for a podcast recorded a couple of streets away from it.  He also forgets to mention that Elisabeth was the first British woman ever to score a motion picture.  And finally, though they mercillessly rib actor Neil McCallum for being the unknown quantity in an otherwise all-star cast, they never bother to say whether or not he's any good.  Which, actually, he is.

Apart from that, it's good!  Special guest star, Dan's mate Ben chimes in with a few additional thoughts about the movie - marvel as, when it comes to discussing the 'Voodoo' segment starring Roy Castle, three white British guys struggle to talk about whether or not a 51-year old film is racist without sounding stupid.  Meanwhile, some of the portmanteau films which followed in the wake of Dr Terror are considered, the music of jazz composer Bernard Ebbinghouse is showcased in James Bernard's (misleadingly named) Jukebox, and another mysterious piece of horror movie history is drawn at random from The Bag of Death.

This episode's stolen joke is derived from Some Like It Hot, vaguely.


Episode contents by timecode

00.00.01 Scene-setting

00.04.24 General introduction and discussion of Dr Terror's House of Horrors

00.53.56 Brief discussion of some of the other portmanteau films which followed Dr Terror: Torture Garden (1967), Tales That Witness Madness (1973) and From Beyond The Grave (1974)

01.00.03 James Bernard's Jukebox

01.06.15 The Bag of Death

01.18.26 Wrap-up, dedication, and what's coming up on the Horror Channel?


Music tracks featured in this episode

Main and incidental themes from: Dr Terror's House of Horrors, Tales That Witness Madness and The Wicker Man (1973), plus The Devil Rides Out (1968) and Omens of Nosferatu, from the 1996 re-release of Nosferatu (1922).  All themes composed by James Bernard.


Useful links and other podcasts which have inspired us, in which you may take an interest

YouTube: Ambidextrous Solutions Channel (where this podcast can be viewed)

YouTube: Dr Terror's House of Horrors Trailer (warning: spoilers!)

YouTube: Edgar Wright on Dr Terror''s House of Horrors for Trailers from Hell

Hammicus Podcast: Dr Terror's House of Horrors

Scream Queenz Podcast: Dr Terror's House of Horrors

B-Movie Cast: Dr Terror's House of Horrors

The UK Horror Channel

British Horror Films website

The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society

We are not responsible for the contents of external sites, natch


* According to Wikipedia, 'portmanteau' can also refer to a noun created by the combination of two other nouns, as is so popular in the press these days, eg. 'Brangelina' and 'Sharknado'. Presumably these are different from simple compound words, i.e. more stupid.