Crimes at the Dark House

October 23, 2016 at 12:26 am (8 Heads, Crimes at the Dark House) (, , , )

Crimes at the Dark House – 1940 – England

The year 1850: A gold prospector in Australia murders another prospector and assumes his identity. Masquerading as Sir Percival Glyde, the imposter returns to London and inherits Glyde’s mansion and estate. He also inherits a mountain of debt and an illegitimate child with a homicidal hatred of him. To maintain his false identity and lifestyle of debauchery, the imposter perpetrates further crimes. For a film of its age, Crimes at the Dark House has a remarkable amount of mayhem as the imposter commits fraud, extortion, rape, and murder, not to mention lots of petty cruelty.

Crimes at the Dark House stars Tod Slaughter who plays the imposter with delightful zeal and panache. Every scene, his character grows more wild and despicable, all while cackling gleefully or lustfully licking his lips. The imposter strangles three people, pounds a metal spike in a man’s ear, and kills a sick woman by opening her window on a cold night. He marries a young woman to steal her fortune and murders his girlfriend when she gets pregnant. Slaughter’s theatrical performance makes these reprehensible actions comedic. When his pregnant girlfriend asks to get married, the imposter smiles and chokes her to death. “You wanted to be a bride. Now you are a bride… of death!

Crimes at the Dark House was directed by George King, who also directed Tod Slaughter in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936) and The Crimes of Stephen Hawke (1936).

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads. No one plays a better maniac than Tod Slaughter.

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