November 26, 2013
La Casa degli orrori — The House of Horrors — was the Italian title for 1945’s House of Dracula, Universal’s penultimate “Monster Rally”. The garishly colored manifesto is an early effort for painter/illustrator Angelo Cesselon (1922-1992) who would go on to a brilliant and influential thirty-plus-year career as a movie poster artist renowned for his portrait work. Although his Frankenstein Monster and Wolf Man here are very fanciful interpretations, note the excellent likenesses of Onslow Stevens and John Carradine.
Speaking of Onslow Stevens, notice anything? Prominently featured, top left, the film’s lead — playing a scientist who cures Chaney’s lycanthropy only to be tragically poisoned by Carradine’s vampire blood — is inexplicably identified as Ludwig Stössel, the perennial supporting actor who appears as a doomed gardener. Another mistake: Top right, the Frankenstein Monster is credited to Boris Karloff. Mind you, Karloff does appear as The Monster in brief stock footage scenes lifted from Bride of Frankenstein, as does Chaney from The Ghost of Frankenstein, but the role in this film, of course, belongs to Glenn Strange.
Mixed-up credits aside, La Casa degli orrori is a dynamic poster with pulp illustration sensibilities.
A two-minute short film about a Cesselon retrospective exhibition.