CURSE OF THE STONE hand (1965) Reviews and overview

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‘Here lived a fiend of sadistic lust!’

Curse of the Stone Hand is a 1964 – released April 1965 – composite horror film consisting of new footage shot by opportunistic American producer/director Jerry Warren (Teenage Zombies) that features John Carradine (as “The Old Drunk”) and Katherine Victor, plus heavily edited sections of two 1940s Chilean movies, both directed by exiled Argentine directors.

The segment known as “House of Gloom” is derived from La casa está vacía (“The House is Empty”), which was directed by Carlos Schlieper, whilst the other segment, “The Suicide Club”, is drawn from La dama de la muerte, (“Woman of Death”) helmed by Carlos Hugo Christensen, and loosely based on a short story by Scottish 19th century author Robert Louis Stephenson (Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Body Snatcher).

American Film Institute synopsis:

‘Hands sculpted in stone, hidden in the niches of an ancient house, are regarded as sources of a curse by the present inhabitant, a country gentleman addicted to gambling; and indeed he does go to an early grave after experiencing bankruptcy. The house then passes to another family, one of whose sons becomes obsessed with the hands. This son develops sadistic tendencies and, acquiring hypnotic powers, finds himself exercising a mystical control over a brother’s fiancée. She repels him, however, and in doing so breaks the spell. The hypnotist, turning to the stone hands, is killed.’


‘The most interesting thing about Curse of the Stone Hand is what it reveals about Warren. It turns out he was capable of editing his material carefully and thoughtfully, when the mood struck him. It’s just that his storytelling instincts were all wrong. His repeated insistence that he had no other aim than to make a quick buck may or may not have been the whole truth; but in this particular case, he would have been better off doing his usual hatchet job.’


la dama de la muerte 1946 Chile

We are also grateful to Wrong Side of the Art for one of the images above and for providing the true nature of this “feature” as most sources incorrectly cite it being an amalgam of footage from Mexican and Chilean films, plus Warren’s own additional material.

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