House of a Thousand Dolls Film Review
Vincent Price headlines this thriller as magician Manderville by day and the leader of an illicit prostitution ring by night. On paper this concept sounds great, on film, unfortunately, it’s not.
The film’s problems start early, with what initially seems like main characters being introduced and killed off in quick succession and because of this it’s very difficult to find a character to relate to. By the time the actual lead character (a bored looking George Nader) is introduced it’s a little late. You will struggle to engage with him and the possibility of his imminent death will be at the forefront of your mind.
Whilst the film contains a couple of half decent set pieces, the magic show about halfway through is about the best it gets, for the most part it’s frankly just a little dull. Not a great deal seems to happen and you will most likely find yourself looking at your watch a lot.
Bits of the film make absolutely no sense. One particular example is the ridiculously long and utterly tedious foot chase sequence that ends with the bad guys catching our hero, only to invite him into another trap where they intend to kill him at a later juncture. Why not just kill him there or, better yet, spare us the entire sequence?
The actors aren’t great throughout and it’s fair to say that this is not one of the better Vincent Price performances, here he simply plays a by-the-numbers villain. There is no one person who stands out as the whole cast clearly have little interest in the events transpiring around them.
Overall it’s a pretty lackluster affair that is difficult to recommend to anyone other than Vincent Price completists. It’s a shame because in better hands this would have had potential to be a decent enough little thriller, not the boredom inducing work we ended up with here.