Mansion of the Doomed (1976)

Mansion of the Doomed (1976)
AKA Massacre Mansion, Eyes of Dr. Chaney, Eyes of the Living Dead, House of Blood, The Terror of Dr. Chaney

Starring Richard Basehart, Gloria Grahame, Trish Stewart, Lance Henriksen, Al Ferrara, JoJo D’Amore, Donna Andresen, Marilyn Joi, Katherine Fitzpatrick, Katherine Stewart, Vic Tayback

Directed by Michael Pataki

Expectations: Pretty high for some reason. This one looks fun.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

Here’s a movie that just gets more and more fucked up as it goes on, which could go either way, but I found Mansion of the Doomed to only get better as it moved along its tortured path of eye trauma. It’s not going to win any awards (even the genre ones), but it definitely packs in a lot of twisted, fucked-up thrills for those in the audience that can find entertainment in such things.

Richard Basehart plays Dr. Chaney, an eye surgeon who one day accidentally blinds his own daughter in a car crash. Being an idealistic doctor with a God complex, he takes it upon himself to correct her eye sight at all costs and researches different methods and techniques until he stumbles upon a doctor who has successfully transplanted entire eyeballs from one animal to another of the same species. Chaney knows that animal eyes won’t work in a human, but if only he could get some live, human specimens, it could work! The horror movie literally writes itself from this point on.

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Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Starring Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O’Shea, Richard Hylton, Skip Homeier, David Wolfson, Henry Kulky, Craig Hill

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Expectations: Another Sam Fuller, I’m fairly positive I’ll enjoy this, but as it’s his first studio picture I’m worried it may be watered down.

It’s no secret to frequent visitors that Samuel Fuller is one of my most favorite filmmakers. The man was years ahead of his time and his films continue to resonate just as well, if not better, than they did upon release. I approached my viewing of Fixed Bayonets! with slight apprehension though, as I feared that Fuller’s transition to the studio system (his previous three films were all independently produced) would cramp his style a bit. While Fixed Bayonets! does not have the hard-hitting social commentary and racial tension of Fuller’s other 1951 film, The Steel Helmet, it makes up for that with hard-hitting war action and survival drama. This is essentially a smaller, more localized version of Fuller’s epic The Big Red One.

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