The House in Nightmare Park 8Apr2013

7953856-2D“Well I had enough of a surprise when you murdered my poor uncle Ernest – which is illegal!”

It used to be expected of any big-screen comedian that he make at least one film in which he visited a seemingly haunted house full of eccentrics and cowered between wisecracks as creepy folk tried to kill him. It worked for everyone from Bob Hope in The Cat and the Canary to Sid James in What a Carve-Up!, and Frankie Howerd went this route in The House in Nightmare Park, a quality effort in the genre written by TV horror specialists Clive Exton (A Ghost Story for Christmas) and Terry Nation (Doctor Who) and directed by Hammer horror vet Peter Sykes (To the Devil – a Daughter).

As a Victorian ham actor, Howerd modifies his usual mugging and plays a real, funny character – and, as a star, he has the wit to let a cast of supporting psychos (Ray Milland, Rosalie Crutchley, Hugh Burden, Kenneth Griffith) compete for attention as the sinister, yet comical heavies. It even runs to one genuinely disturbing, yet absurd scene in which the family recreate their old music hall act, which involves dressing up as dolls, and perform a song which ends in murder.

Kim Newman


  1. Steve Millar Reply

    Thank you Network! Been waiting for this for many, many years.

  2. Brian Stephens Reply

    Any chance of a Blu-Ray?

  3. Terry Webb Reply

    Cheers Network,I used to watch this film on the telly.I definitely will be ordering a copy of this dvd.

  4. Andy Giblin Reply

    This film has been making me laugh since I first saw it many years ago. I have a copy taken from a BBC showing in the nineties (I think) but the picture and sound aren’t great so I’m delighted at this release. Howerd is excellent in this but so are his supporting cast and there are some genuinely creepy moments too.

    Many thanks to Network for getting this nearly forgotten gem a DVD release.

  5. Stephen Coles Reply

    I to have a creaky video of this film,from a channel 4 showing.I actually saw the film in the cinema when it was first released.It was at the time when all the 70s sitcom films were doing the rounds.It was part of a double bill.The main film was Are you being served.I prefered Frankie’s film as i have always been a big fan having seen him do stand up live on stage and recording a radio show.Ordered my copy cant wait to enjoy it again.

  6. Gary McQueen Reply

    Thank you for releasing this great film on DVD picture quality is great, with nice extras, only downside is the thin DVD case this is OK in a DVD box set but looks a little cheap on its own, please revert back to the normal size cases, thanks.

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pingback from Networkonair > Features > The British Film March 27, 2013

[…] first two titles to be released are the much-anticipated Frankie Howerd-starrer The House in Nightmare Park – a darkly humorous comedy that’s not been commercially available since the ’90s […]