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Darkside Interview
An interview with Tom Beauvais

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Friday, 07 June 2013 14:51 | Published in Cult Classics Collection | Read 12149 times | More in this category: « Bloody Birthday Evil Force »
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Massacre Mansion

  • Release Date: 01/12/1992
  • Vipco Catalogue Number: VIP026
  • Director: Michael Pataki
  • Writers: Frank Ray Perilli
  • Actors: Richard Basehart, Gloria Grahame, Trish Stewart
  • Storyline: An insane surgeon finds himself up to his armpits in eyeballs after guilt prompts him to begin removing the eyes of abducted people in hopes of performing transplants on his daughter who lost her own in a car-accident he caused.
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Cerifitcate: 18
  • Cut: N/A
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Keep An Eye Out For Dr. Chaney ... He Needs It!

This minor unhinged treasure, featuring genuine surgical stock footage, was the directorial debut of the late actor/director Michael Pataki. This was also VIPCO’s second video release to include decidedly nauseating depictions of eye injuries – the first being the company’s Zombie Flesh Eaters, which infamously showed Tisa Farrow being mercilessly dragged headlong into a large protruding door splinter by a zombie with a noticeably strong grip!

Filmed between November and December 1975, Pataki’s picture follows the demented actions of Dr. Leonard Chaney (played by Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea star Richard Basehart), a surgeon who caused an accident that involved his daughter – an accident that resulted in the loss of her eyes. In his efforts to restore his daughter’s sight, Chaney finds himself up to his neck in eyeballs as the crazy hackneyed scientist conducts a series of twisted experiments, which require fresh eyes – plucked from the sockets of his many captives whom he keeps locked in the basement of his secluded country mansion...

Owing much to Georges Franju’s brilliant Eyes without a Face, a decidedly far superior film in every sense, there’s little doubt that Pataki cobbled together a fairly mean-spirited picture, which can also boast an early screen appearance of Aliens’ star Lance Henriksen, as the ill-fated Dr. Dan Bryan.

In a move that seemed uncharacteristic for VIPCO, Massacre Mansion was issued in a small “clamshell” box, one of only a handful of titles to emerge like this. Appearing on rental shelves in June 1983, Pataki’s film must have formed part of a packaging incentive by VIPCO, who perhaps hoped to trial their use of the ‘small box’, while Massacre Mansion appeared alongside three other similarly packaged releases: The Lazarus Syndrome (VIP 056), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (VIP 057) and Portrait of a Hit Man (VIP 058)

More recently, Pataki’s film was re-released by the bog-standard Disc Distribution company, who released the film as Mansion of the Doomed. This digital incarnation was short-lived however, and the resultant disc now deleted.

If you enjoyed this one, be sure to check out Kent Bateman’s directorial debut Headless Eyes, a truly distasteful effort surrounding the vengeful antics of a psychotic artist who gouges out his female victims’ eyes with a spoon!

Written by Administrator Last modified on Sunday, 30 June 2013 17:15

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