DR. TERROR’S HOUSE OF HORRORS

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GB
1965
1hr 38mins
Dir: Freddie Francis
Starring: Peter Cushing and Ursula Howells

A stranger tells the fortunes of five people during a railway journey in which they all ultimately die

This was the first in a series of anthology films from Amicus Productions and was followed by six more horrors. The film is rather good and cleverly portrays death telling five separate stories to the passengers of an express who are all then killed in a train crash. Although the train and the final ‘station’ scene are studio sets, there are a couple of views of London Paddington at the beginning that include two close up shots of ex-GWR locomotives, one in the form of a ‘Prairie’ tank on pilot duties, and one of ‘Hall’ Class 4-6-0 No.6995 Benthall Hall on a departing train. The latter locomotive was withdrawn in 1965, the year the film was released. There is also one, much used stock shot of an ex-LMS Class 7P ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0 on an express at night.

The film opens with this fine portrayal of Paddington station as dusk falls
Looking back along platform 1 the setting sun casts its light on the side of a ‘Prairie’ tank on pilot duties, the smoke of which is also clearly visible.
A fine close up study of ex-GWR ‘Hall’ Class 4-6-0 No.6995 Benthall Hall departing from platform 1 of London Paddington
The smoke from the signal box chimney suggests that the signalman has a fire on the go. In the distance a DMU stands in a station platform just as an express passes through on the adjacent line. This could be somewhere on the Midland Main Line out of London.
As the express bears down on the camera the loco is revealed to be an ex-LMS ‘Royal Scot’, possibly No.46157 The Royal Artilleryman. This shot appeared first in the film The Set Up, then in Heavens Above! (both 1963 and both in black and white) then in colour in the 1963 James Bond movie From Russia With Love. After this, the much used shot reappeared in the 1964 film Night Train to Paris for which it was ‘converted’ back to black and white. Then, after appearing in this movie it reappeared thirteen years later in the 1978 adaptation of The Thirty Nine Steps, only in reverse!!!