In the dimly lit streets of 1885, a tale of twisted desires unfolds. Dr. Bernard Hichcock, a man ensnared by his own dark cravings, stumbles into a ghastly secret. In a macabre twist of fate, he believes he has ended the life of his wife, Margaretha, with a dose of a chilling drug. Fleeing the haunting shadows of London, he vanishes for twelve long years.
Returning to his once-abandoned home with a new bride, Cynthia, Dr. Hichcock’s twisted past lurks in the corners. Unbeknownst to Cynthia, strange apparitions of Margaretha haunt their dwelling. As she becomes entangled in the same sinister games that ensnared the first Mrs. Hichcock, a sense of dread grips her. She suspects her husband’s deadly intentions, but the truth is far more horrifying.
Margaretha is alive, albeit worn and aged, hidden away from the world. Dr. Hichcock’s sinister plan unfolds, a plan involving Cynthia’s blood to restore Margaretha’s long-lost beauty. The stage is set for a chilling dance between the living and the presumed dead.
Directed by the master of macabre, Riccardo Freda, this Gothic horror film weaves a narrative of suspense and psychological thrills. The enigmatic Barbara Steele and the reluctant Robert Flemyng step into their roles, delivering performances that leave you on the edge of your seat.
Behind the scenes, chaos and creativity intertwine. Freda orchestrates a production marked by hidden identities, language diversity, and a breakneck shooting schedule. As the film emerges from the shadows, it faces both praise and controversy.
Released in June 1962, “The Horrible Dr. Hichcock” takes its place in the annals of horror cinema. Despite challenges in the American market, where it assumes the guise of “The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock,” the film finds its audience, carving a niche as a cult classic. A daring exploration of taboo subjects, a testament to the audacious creativity of Italian horror in the early 1960s.
Contemporary reviews paint a picture of a film “consistently gripping and enjoyable.” The directorial finesse of Riccardo Freda and the magnetic performances of the lead actors stand out. Some critics marvel at the audacity of the film’s exploration of taboo subjects, while others hail it as a unique Italian gothic masterpiece.
“The Horrible Dr. Hichcock” remains a chilling journey into the depths of human desire, a classic that defies norms and leaves an indelible mark on the tapestry of horror cinema.