HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL: Vincent Price has one of his juiciest roles in this haunted-house thriller as millionaire playboy Frederick Loren, who invites five guests out to a genuine haunted house, offering them each $10,000 if they spend the night. Elisha Cook Jr. plays one of the guests, a nervous alcoholic who has been in this house before and witnessed some terrible things. Mr. Loren's beautiful but treacherous wife (Carol Ohmart) is also present--and might be out to kill Frederick during the course of the evening; then again, he might be out to kill her. Severed heads, a skeleton, an acid vat, ghostly screams, and a noose that creeps around on its own and strangles unsuspecting victims are just some of the treats in a film that has been spooking delighted audiences on late-night TV for decades. Producer-director William Castle (THE TINGLER) claimed this was filmed in a process called Emergo, which meant that at a key moment a glow-in-the-dark skeleton on a wire was rigged to sail over the audience's heads. The skeleton is long since gone, but the goofy thrills remain in this classic tale, from a script by Robb White.
LAST MAN ON EARTH: Based on Richard Matheson's SF thriller I AM LEGEND, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is about a man who survives a global plague only to be stalked nightly by zombielike victims who call out his name. Vincent Price stars as Robert Morgan, a scientist who tried desperately to come up with a cure for an airborne virus that was killing people around the globe. Although he could not develop a serum in time to save his family, he himself seems to be immune from the disease. Thus, he is left to wander the streets by day, staking zombies, then barricading himself in his house each night as the zombies try to break in and kill him. Price is excellent in the role, going about his horrible business as if it were just another day: waking up and eating breakfast, putting on a suit, calmly staking the zombies, making dinner, listening to records at night. But when he suddenly sees what looks like another living soul out in the daylight, his world is suddenly turned inside out.
THE BAT: Based on the gothic novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart, this haunted-house mystery casts Agnes Moorehead as a mystery writer who has just moved into a spooky old mansion. It's former owner was recently killed, but not before hiding one million ill-gotten dollars somewhere in the house. Now, a nefarious killer known only as the "Bat" is trying to find the money, while bodies and mysteries accrue in this strange old house. Filmed before in 1915 (silent), 1926 (silent) and 1930 (talkie).