Release dateMarch 29, 1946 (1946-03-29) (United States)
1952 (Re-release) WriterGeorge Bricker (screenplay), Dwight V. Babcock (original story) Film seriesUniversal horror Film Series CastRondo Hatton (The Creeper), Robert Lowery (Steven Morrow), Virginia Grey (Joan Medford), Bill Goodwin (Police Lt. Larry Brooks), Martin Kosleck (Marcel De Lange), Alan Napier (F. Holmes Harmon) Similar moviesSalt, I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine, Mad Max: Fury Road, Looper, John Wick, The Exterminator
House of Horrors (also known as Murder Mansion, The Sinister Shadow and Joan Medford is Missing) is a 1946 American horror film released by Universal Pictures, starring Rondo Hatton as a madman named "The Creeper." It was filmed in September 1945.
An entire series of Creeper movies had been planned, with this being the first, and The Brute Man (1946) being the second. However, the sudden death of the main star, Rondo Hatton, prevented any future pictures from being made. Hatton died of complications from acromegaly before either film was released; it is not known how many films were planned.
Struggling sculptor, Marcel De Lange (Martin Kosleck) is depressed about the events going on in his life, and decides to commit suicide. But just as he's about to kill himself, he spots and saves a madman, named "The Creeper" (Rondo Hatton) from drowning. Shortly afterward, he takes the disfigured man into his care. Marcel also makes the Creeper the subject of his next sculpture and calls it his best creation. But as the reviews begin to break Marcel's last nerve, he has the Creeper start killing the critics. Marcel becomes obsessed with a beautiful female reporter, Joan, who is alone in thinking the deaths are related. When Marcel invites her over, she notices Marcel's sculpture of "The Creeper" and decides that Marcel must know the killer. Later, Marcel decides that she knows too much, but the Creeper is reluctant to kill her when he discovers Marcel's plan to turn the Creeper over to the police.
Rondo Hatton as the Creeper
Martin Kosleck as Marcel De Lange
Robert Lowery as Steven Morrow
Virginia Grey as Joan Medford
Bill Goodwin as Lieutenant Larry Brooks
Alan Napier as F. Holmes Harmon
Howard Freeman as Hal Ormiston
Virginia Christine as Lady of the Streets
Joan Shawlee as Stella McNally
In popular culture
The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards represent Hatton in both name as well as his likeness. The physical award is a representation of character actor Rondo Hatton, and is based on the bust of The Creeper, portrayed by Hatton in House of Horrors.