House of the Living Dead (1974) - full transcript

A mad scientist (Mark Burns) is conducting hideous occult experiments at the family estate of Brattling Manor, monkeying about with things man was not meant to know, including the transfer and containment of living souls. It's only a matter of time before he begins to experiment on the souls of human beings - including his own family.

(baboon screaming)

(ominous music)

- [Man] Ha!

(horse galloping)

(liquid bubbles)

- Annie.

When Simeon comes for Sir Michael's lunch,

give him this letter.

- Yes, your ladyship.

(liquid bubbles)

(tool grinding)

(footsteps approaching)

- Simeon?

- Oooh!

(Annie screams)

(Simeon laughs)

- Sir Michael's lunch.

Oh, and this letter for him also.

- Oh.

Becoming quite a thing, these letters from England.

I reckon the squire's in love.

- You're a cheeky blighter, Simeon.

- Well don't nobody laugh no more at Brattling?

Or are you all too scared of that loony up in the attic?

- Shhh, Simeon!

- Don't worry, Annie.

Nothing to be scared of as long as I'm around.

(both laugh)

(Simeon shouts)

- Simeon!

- See you at the party tonight, Annie.

(liquid bubbles)

(celebratory music)

- Is that the last wagon load, Jan?

- Yes sir, looks like it's gonna be a good vintage.

- I hope so.

Brattling needs it.

- Although good, it'll be a bad year, sir.

- Yes, I know Jan.

But the Brattling's have had a run of bad years.

- Perhaps you should let Aia Kat

make you up a good luck charm.


- Take more than Aia Kat's magic spells

to change the fortunes of the Brattlings.

- There's a letter for you, Sir Michael.

- Oh.

- Can I have this dance when you're done, sir?

- Yes, of course.

Don't let them drink too much tonight, Jan.

- No sir, I won't.

- Your lunch, Sir Michael!

- Oh, you have it.

I may see you later at the party.

(shouts at horse)

- What are you shaking your head for?

- I don't know how he can be so happy.

He's got a loony for a brother.

I saw him in the woods this morning,

with something in a sack.

And it was alive.

- You better keep your mouth shut

if you wanna keep your job.

- Not only me.

Folks say Mr. Breck's fooling around with magic up there.

They're more scared of him

than they are of that old witch, Aia Kat.

(ominous music)

(door handle rattles)

(Sarutsan whimpers)

(celebratory music)

- Isn't Annie coming to the party, Simeon?

- I don't know, Sir Michael.

She's supposed to.

- Well, if I was you, my lad, I'd go and find her.

(Annie laughs)

- [Annie] Simeon!

- [Simeon] Annie?


- Here, Simeon!

(Annie laughs)

- Simeon!

- Annie...


(Annie laughs)

- Annie!

(Annie laughs)




- [Annie] Here, Simeon.

- Annie.

That's enough now, Annie, come on.


- Simeon?

(Simeon screaming)

- [Woman] Let go!

Let go, let go!

- Let go! Let go of her!

Let go of her!

- She was trying to hex you, sir.

- [Women] Yeah, yeah!

- Be quiet, all of you!

Go back to the party, go on.



- It's a lie.

It's to protect you.

- Give it to me.

Give it to me, Lina.

From what and from whom are you trying to protect me?

Witchcraft's forbidden at Brattling, Lina.

You know that.

- Evil got to be fought with evil.

(ominous music)

- There is no evil at Brattling, Aia.

Not anymore.


(ominous music)

(slow footsteps)

(horse galloping)

- Oh no.


- Must have been Sarutsan.

- Huh?



- The horse is a two-time killer, sir.

- Oh.

Get him back to the house. Quickly.

(ominous music)

- Jan!

- Sir?

So that's what spooked Sarutsan.

- Snake will spook any horse.

- He kicked down the door.

- No, someone let him out. Deliberately.

I want him found, Jan. Quickly.

And get rid of this, will you?

- Yes, sir.

(liquid bubbles)

(door handle rattles)


- Breck? Breck!

(door handle rattles)

(ominous music)

(music intensifies)

- Mother.

Mother, Mary Anne has consented to marry me.

- Is that what the letter was about?

- Yes.

- Well it's been more than a year since you last saw her,

and then only for a short time in London.

How do you know she hasn't changed?

- We love each other, that's all we need to know.

- You, Breck, and I are the last of the Brattlings.

We should make sure there will be no more.

If you marry this girl,

you'll only be adding another tragedy

to the history of Brattling.

- It's because of Breck

that you don't want her here, isn't it?

- What do you suggest we do with him,

brush him under a carpet like unsightly dirt?

- Breck is my brother and I love him as much as you do!


Mother, can't you see he's sick and needs proper care?

- He's a Brattling, as much as you or me.

He has a right to stay here as long as he lives.

It's Mary Anne who has no right here.

(ominous music)

- I'm afraid I have some rather bad news.

- Michael?

- No, not sir Michael. Breckin.

- His brother?

- It appears that a runaway stallion

that killed a man six weeks ago

attacked Breck while he was out on a walk.

- Oh no.


- I'm sorry I had to bring you such distressing news.

- Did you know Breck, doctor?

- He was an undergraduate while I was at Dublin.

I only met him once or twice after he qualified,

and that was many years ago in London

at a medical conference.

I believe he returned to the Cape shortly after that

and gave up his practice in London.

- Michael never mentioned that his brother was a doctor.

- He had some rather extraordinary ideas,

which he published.

But I'm afraid they had a mixed reception

in medical circles.

- Oh, why was that?

- He believed the soul was an organic entity,

which could be isolated and kept alive

outside and independent of the human body.

- The time has passed most pleasantly

thanks to you Dr. Collinson.

I do hope you have a pleasant stay with the de Groots.

- Dr. Collinson.

- Yes?

- Mr. de Groot sent me to meet you, sir.

- Ah, my bags are over there.

I'll be with you in a minute.

Don't worry, Miss Carew.

If Sir Michael doesn't arrive,

I can always drop you on my way to the de Groot's farm.

- I'm sure he'll be here soon.

- Will you excuse me while I look for my luggage?

- Yes.

- That one and that one.

- Yes, sir.

(ominous music)

- Michael.

I know it's Michael!

You've been very kind, Dr. Collinson.

- My pleasure, Miss Carew.

- Mary Anne! Hello.

- Dearest.

Oh, this is Dr. Collinson.

He's been my guardian angel.

- How do you do?

I'm very grateful to you, doctor.

He's going to visit your neighbors, the de Groots.

I've asked him to come and visit us.

- Yes, of course.

We'd be delighted doctor.

- Thank you, Sir Michael.

Miss Carew?

- Goodbye. - Goodbye.

- Oh, Mary Anne, this is Lina.

She'll be your personal maid at Brattling.

- How do you do, Lina?

- Ma'am.

- Come, my dear.

- I beg your pardon, Sir Michael.

- Yes?

- That case that's addressed to Dr. Breck,

will you take it now or have it sent for later?

- Uh, oh we'll take it with us.

We might as well.

Load it up, would you?

(ominous music)

(happy music)

- How much further is it to Brattling, Michael?

- About another mile.

- I can hardly wait to get there.

You're much thinner, dearest.

- That's one of the changes at Brattling since I wrote you.

- You mean, Breck's accident?

- You know about that?

- The station master told Dr. Collinson.

How is he?

- Well at first we thought he might die.

His head was badly crushed.

- Oh Michael, how awful.

Your poor mother must have been very upset.

- She still is upset.

She doted on Breck.

- Can we go a little faster Michael?

I can hardly wait.

- Yes, of course.

Giddyup! Come on, go on.

- Michael, I think it's...

It's beautiful.


- [Michael] Beautiful is hardly the word for it.

The house is run down, the garden's overgrown,

well all except for one part,

which is Mother's pride and joy.

- It's been such a long time.

Remember when we talked about this day?

- Whoa, whoa.

Yes I remember.

Whoa, whoa!

But then I wasn't sure you were going to marry me.

Excuse me.

(ominous music)

- Michael?

Michael do you think your mother will like me?

- Of course she'll like you.

How could anyone not like you?

Welcome to Brattling.

(ominous music)

It is rather grim, isn't it?

But everything will change now that you're here.

Let me introduce you.

This is Brand, our butler.

- Miss.

- And behind you is Annie.

- Welcome, ma'am.

- Thank you, Annie.

- Lina, will you show Miss Mary Anne to her room?

My dear when you're refreshed,

I'll introduce you to mother.

- Thank you, Brand.

- [Lady Brattling] I simply will not allow you

to marry this girl.

- [Michael] You will allow whatever I say, Mother.

- [Lady Brattling] Then you intend to go through with it,

despite my wishes?

- Not despite anything,

but because I am master of Brattling.

- I can hardly believe it.

It seems incredible that this is Africa and not England.

- Cape Colony, my dear, not Africa.

But if you will listen carefully,

you will realize there is a difference.

(faint drumming)

- What is that drumming, Michael?

- Nothing that need concern you.

You might call it the sound of Africa.

- You should not permit it.

Your father never did.

- What shouldn't Michael not permit, Lady Brattling?

- Witchcraft.

- Mr. Breckinridge's tray, my lady.

- Thank you, Brand.

That will be all.

- Will you excuse me, my dear?

Breck and I usually

have a few moments together at this time.

- Can I come with you?

- No Mary Anne.

Michael can take the tray,

and you and I will have coffee in the drawing room.

It's better this way,

for the moment.

- I shan't be long.

(drumming grows louder)

- They're very much alike, Lady Brattling.

- They were then,

but not anymore.

- I'm such a blunderer.

Please forgive me.

- Has Michael told you about the accident?

- Only that Breck was attacked

by a stallion while out walking.

He also said that Breck refuses

to see anyone except you and Michael.

You both look so overwrought.

Surely there's something I could do to help.

- This is a family matter.

Michael had no right to tell you about it.

- But I am family.

- Not yet, my dear.

Not yet.

- I love Michael, Lady Brattling,

and everything that is part of him.

Even if you don't care for me,

you'll never change what I feel for him.

Nothing will ever change that.

(liquid bubbles)


- Come in.

- May I turn back the bed, Miss Mary Anne?

- Yes, thank you Lina.

- What's he like, Lina?

- Who miss?

- Mr. Breck.

- I haven't seen him since the accident, Miss.

Nobody has.

He never leaves the upper floor.

- Oh, how dreadful.

Poor Breck.

(liquid bubbles)

- What was he like, Lina?

Before the accident?

- Did you know he was crippled, miss?

- Yes, Sir Michael told me.

- Aia Kat says he's smote by the Devil.

He used to play the organ sometimes late at night.

We could hear it down in the servant's quarters,

lonely, terrible music, like the...


- Come in.

- Leave, Miss Lina.

(clears throat)

- You're not retiring already, are you?

- I don't think your mother wants me here at Brattling.

- Oh? Did she say that?

- She told me not to interfere in family matters.

- Well, Mother's had a terrible shock.

Breck is more than just a son to her.

You'll have to be very patient with us, my darling.

All of us.

Mother, Breck, even me.

- Who is Aia Kat?


- Oh just a normal lay woman

some people believe to have supernatural powers.

Did Lina tell you about her?

- Yes, but why are you so angry?


- I'm not angry.

I just don't want you listening

to servant's gossip, that's all.

Especially from Lina.

I'll speak to Mother tomorrow about a new maid for you.

- Oh please don't, Michael.

I like the girl.

- Alright, my love.

Good night.

Sleep well.

You'll be called at 8:30.

(chanting and drumming)

(drums play in distance)


(drums play in distance)

(ominous music)

(slow footsteps)

(lock clicks)

(organ plays in distance)

(organ intensifies)

- Did you lock my door last night, Lina?

- No.

- And the organ music?

Did you hear it?


I saw Mr. Breck with my own eyes

limping along the pathway beneath my bedroom window.

- Then he must be better, Miss.

- Lina?

Please trust me as I now trust you.

I promise you that whatever you tell me

will remain a secret between us.

- There's nothing to tell, Miss.

I've told you everything I know.

- You haven't told me why whenever you speak of Mr. Breck

you behave like a frightened child.

What is it that he does

or used to do up in that attic?

- Nobody knows for sure,

but Aia Kat says he's doing what no man has the right to do.

- What is Mr. Breck doing, Lina?

- Collecting the souls of living creatures.

- Lina!


- Good, very good.

Living in England all these years

has not robbed you of your skill, I see.

- I used to practice on Hempstead Heath

to keep up with you, Hugo.

- You're not sorry you've given up your London practice

to take up this lecturing post

at the medical school, are you?

- Heavens, no.

I always intended to return to the colony.

What makes you think that I have any regrets?

- Sometimes you look like a man

who has a profound regret,

as if he has lost something.

It's the girl you met on the boat coming out,

isn't it my friend?

- Miss Carew is engaged to be married

to Sir Michael Brattling, Hugo.

- Yes.

- But somehow I think that she's in great danger.

- Let's go and have some tea.

(ominous music)

- Hello, Annie.

Is Sir Michael back from the fields yet?

- No I haven't seen him, miss.

- Thank you, Annie.

(horse whimpers)

(ominous music)


- [Woman] No, no no!


- Why are you and Michael hiding Breck from me

as if he was some dangerous animal?

I've seen him staring out of the attic window.

- My son does not wish to see you.

He's been ill, very ill.

Can't you understand that?

- Then why was he walking in the garden last night?

- That's impossible.

It was your imagination.

- And the organ music?

Was that also my imagination?

(distant chatter)

(ominous music)

- Leave Brattling, Mary Anne.

Leave before it's too late.

- I'll never leave here.

Not as long as Michael loves and needs me.

- [Michael] Jan!

What is it?

What's happening?

- I was coming to tell you, sir.

Aia Kat is dead.

They all want to leave.

- Stand still!

What do you want?

- [Man] It isn't safe to work or live here anymore.

It's that damn horse that's killed her.

- Satusan is no longer on Brattling, he's disappeared.

You all know that.

He's probably dead.

- [Woman] Then 'is soul ain't dead,

it's out there somewhere.

- [Man] It's him!

Your crazy brother. Up there.

- Let's go get him.

- Those of you who wish to leave can go.

(horse whimpers)

(ominous music)

(liquid bubbles)

(heavy breathing)

- Mary Anne?

What is it?

You're angry with me.

- Is it unreasonable for a woman

who's come 7000 miles to join the man she loves

to expect him to spend a little of his time with her?

- You saw what happened last night.

Brattling is like a ship that's sinking,

and no one can save her except me.

- You and me, Michael.

Or have you forgotten, you asked me to marry you?

Last night, your mother begged me to leave Brattling.

Is that what you want, too?

- Mother begged you to leave Brattling?


- Maybe because of Breck.

I mean, I saw...

- Breck?

Why does everyone blame poor Breck

for everything that happens in this house?

I spent an hour with him this morning.

I can get nothing from him.

He just sits there, staring into space,

a shattered mind and a shattered body.

- Oh my dearest, I'm sorry.

I've been so selfish and thoughtless.

I promise never to speak about it again.

I promise.

(ominous music)

- It seems we have a visitor.

Will you be alright on your own, my love?

- Yes, you go.

I'll lie down for a while.

The horse. Was it Sarutsan?

Yes, it was Sarutsan.

- I'm sorry, Michael.

- son, Captain Turner.

- Good to see you, Turner.

What brings you to Brattling?

- Well one of your farmhands

put in an appearance at the castle

the day before yesterday

with a rather incredible story, Sir Michael.

- As long as he's up there in that attic,

none of us is safe.

Oh please, miss, let's go to Capetown.

I will work for you there.

- You must stay calm, Lina.

We must think.

- I've thought, miss.

I'm leaving Brattling.

- How far is Grootwood from here?

- About eight miles by road, miss,

but there's a shortcut through the fields.

- Will you do one last favor for me

before you leave Brattling?

- Oh yes, miss.

- Take this letter to Grootwood

and hand it to Dr. Collinson.

- Yes, miss.

God protect you.

- [Turner] It may well be as you say, Sir Michael,

superstitious servant's chatter.

Nevertheless, two particularly brutal killings

have occurred,

and I'm quite sure none of us here

really believe that the stallion was responsible.

- [Michael] And who do you suggest is responsible?

- Perhaps after I've looked around the property

and questioned a few people

I might be able to give you the answer.

With your permission, Sir Michael,

I should also like to have a few minutes

with your brother.

- You realize, of course Lieutenant,

that Breckinridge has not yet completely recovered

from the stallion's attack.

- It is this that I need assuring of, Lady Brattling.

That is why I should like to see him

when I return from speaking to your field workers.

Now, if you'll excuse me.

Lady Brattling.

Sir Michael.

- Oh, Michael.

(ominous music)



(ominous music)

(music intensifies)

- Oh!


- [Lina] Help! Help me!

Dr. Collinson! Dr. Collinson!

(breathing heavily)

Dr. Collinson!

- What is it? What is it?

- He tried to kill me!

- Hugo!

- He tried to kill me!

- Hugo!

It's alright, you're safe now.

It's one of the servant girls from Brattling.

- Let's take her into the house.

(Lina cries)

- Where'd you drop the note, Lina?

- There.

- It's not here.

- It must be there.

That's the only place I could have dropped it.

- And the trap?

- Further down.

- Where'd you see the killing, Lina?

- Down in the south vineyard.

- There! There it is!

- Whoa, whoa.

Steady, steady.

There's nothing here.

- I don't understand.

- Nevermind, Lina.

Now listen:

I want you to go back to Brattling

and stay with Miss Mary Anne till I get there.

Tell her I'm on my way, but nothing else,

not to her or anybody.

Do you understand?

- Yes.

Come on now.

Come on, up now, come on.

- Nasty business there, Sir Michael.

I thought when that farmhand of yours

came here with a wild story of ghost horses and killings

it was a matter of trifle.

Turner thought it should be looked into.

It's godawful, sir.

Great pity.

Take him away.

Now I shall have to look into things myself.

- Could you postpone your visit, Colonel Pringle?

For a few days?

- Something wrong, Sir Michael?

- My brother, Breckinridge.

He died, suddenly this afternoon.

- Sir Michael, just a minute!

- I'm sorry, Colonel Pringle, please try and understand.

We're all very upset.

Can I let you know when we can see you?

- Certainly.

My condolences to you and your mother.

- Thank you.

- Dr. Collinson?

I'm afraid you've just missed my son.

He left for Capetown over an hour ago.

Was there anything important?

- No Lady Brattling.

May I?

Sir Michael invited me to visit whenever I was passing.

- My son never mentioned having met you, Dr. Collinson.

- Oh perhaps because of the brevity of our encounter.

Miss Carew and I were fellow travellers as far as Brattling.

She introduced me at the station.

It's your other son, Breckinridge, whom I knew.

We met while he was studying at Dublin.

I was most impressed by some of his theories.

- It was kind of you to call, Dr. Collinson.

Should you miss Michael in town,

I'll tell him you've called.

- How is Miss Carew, Lady Brattling?

- When I last saw her,

she was walking with her maid in the garden.

Then, she appeared to be perfectly well.

- You wouldn't object if I spoke to her before I left?

- Why should I object, Dr. Collinson?

- [Dr. Collinson] Miss Carew.

- [Mary Anne] How good of you to come, Dr. Collinson.

- I wish I could prevail upon you to leave immediately.

Come back to Capetown with me

until we can establish exactly what's going on

here at Brattling.

- No, I can't, Dr. Collinson.

I'm engaged to be married to Michael.

My place is here with him.

I'm not afraid.

- Then why did you send me that letter with Lina?

- Because I thought you might be able to persuade Michael

to allow you to examine Breck.

- If they won't allow you to see him,

how do you expect them to allow me?

- I thought that you being a doctor,

they would listen to you.

- Miss Carew, I sincerely believe you should come with me.

I still think you should change your mind

and come to Capetown with me.

- I've explained to you, Dr. Collinson,

that I must stay here.

- Then stay close to Lina.

- I promise.

(ominous music)

- Yes, I made it.

And the boot that goes with it.

We've made it here for years.

Can't understand how it came off.

- Who is the customer, Mr. Hill?

- How peculiar.

Dr. Breckinridge Brattling, sir.

His brother Sir Michael brought the boot in this afternoon

to be repaired.

- How can you be so sure

this heel comes off Mr. Breckinridge's boot?

- Oh easy, sir

Notice how high the heel is?

It was Lady Brattling's idea.

With the boot on, he walked as normal as Sir Michael.

Here's his last.

And now the heel, there.

He doesn't have a true foot.

More like a hoof, it is, without toes.

But with my boot on, you'd never know.


- Thank you, Brand.

- Will there be anything else, miss, before I go into town?

- Don't tell me you're deserting us too, Brand?

- I'm taking Annie in, miss.

I understand she's not very happy at Brattling.

Will that be all, miss?

- Yes, thank you.

Oh Brand, by the way,

have you seen Lina anywhere?

- Not since this morning, miss.

- Breckinridge Brattling is dead.

Sir Michael told me so himself.

- Breckinridge Brattling is very much alive, Colonel.

God knows if there's time enouh

to prevent him committing another insane crime.

- How do you know he is?

- Believe me, Colonel, I do.

- Very well, Collinson.


(slow footsteps)

- Michael. Michael?

(ominous music)



- Mary Anne!


You must leave Brattling before it's too late.

You're in danger, terrible danger.

- You're trying to frighten me into leaving.

It's a lie, a mad, vicious lie.

- But the Brattlings are mad.

Look at them.

All of them died of some sort of madness.

That was me.

Do you see what marriage to a madman

and giving birth to one can do to a woman?

Is that what you want, Mary Anne?

I beg you, for the last time, leave Brattling.

- I won't listen to you!

I won't!

(door slams)

- Whoa, whoa.

- Take the other horse out.

- Right.

- Hang on a minute.

- Collinson! Collinson!


(distant organ music)

- Breck? Breck? Breck?


- Lina! Lina!


(organ intensifies)

- Let her go!

You must let her go!

- The wedding, Mother.

Have you forgotten the wedding?

- No.

No I won't let you!

Mary Anne, run!

Run for your life!


(organ stops)







- Yes.

- No, no! Please!

Please don't!

No, Breck!

Please no, Breckin, no!


Please let me go!

Please let me go!


Help me! No, no!

(Mary Anne screams)

Let me go! Let me go!

- Breck, oh my darling, please...

- Out of my way, Mother.

- Enough. There's been enough killing at Brattling.

(Breck screams)

(Lady Brattling screams)

- No, please help me!




Michael, help me!


- Michael? Michael?

You want Michael?

Michael's upstairs waiting for you!

But first, we must make you beautiful for him.

Put it on.

Put it on!

(maniacal laughter)

Put it on!

Put it on! Put it on!

(dramatic music)

- No, no, no!

No, no, no!

- Be quiet!


That's better.

That's more like Michael's Mary Anne.

I shan't harm you.

I shall make you very happy.

Look, let me explain,

you see, I've always maintained

the soul is not something destined

for a mythical paradise,

but a force that can be isolated and contained

here on this earth.

My colleagues said I was insane,

but here is the proof!

Not only one, but many.

Not only animals, but human beings.

This one's Sarutsan.

Poor Sarutsan.

So powerful, so arrogant.

Now look at him.

All that strength and arrogance

contained in this one little jar.

This one's Simeon.

He called me a loony.

And this one...

- It's not true.

It's not possible to capture the soul.

- Isn't it?

- Michael!

Where is Michael?

- Michael?

Michael, my father's favorite son, your bridegroom...

Here he is.

(Mary Anne screams)

- Michael's alive.

You're insane.

- Insane, am I?

Insane, am I?

Alive is he!


I killed him six weeks ago,

two days after you got this letter.

- Your own brother.

Your own brother!

- In this letter, you said your love goes beyond this world.

Well now we'll see if you're right.

At last I shall have the opportunity

to see two souls join together in spiritual love.

Think of it, Mary Anne, spiritual love,

free from the nastiness of your perfect body!


- Take me to Brattling, quickly!

(liquid bubbles)

- Mary Anne!

(ominous music)

- Look, look!

You and Michael together forever.

- Mary Anne!

(Mary Anne screams)

- Please no!

- Hold still!

I'm sending you to Michael

- No!

- So it was you, wasn't it Breck?

- Yes!

Oh no, oh!

(spirits chatter)

(Breck screams)

- [Male Spirit] Loony! Loony!

(horse whimpers)

- It's alright.

- No! No!

Oh no, oh no, no!

(chatter intensifies)

(Breck screams)

(chatter stops)


- It's all over, Mary Anne.

It's all over.

(peaceful music)