A quick glimpse at the cast for this film would make any horror fan giddy with glee. The actual movie doesn't live up to those high expectations, but it's far from being all bad. Desi Arnaz Jr. (!) plays an author who makes a crazy $20,000 bet with his publisher that he could write a great novel in only 24 hours. To do so, the publisher gives him the keys to an old abandoned house where he won't be disturbed. Not true. Once he gets there he is interrupted by a multitude of guests including a family which consists of John Carradine, Sheila Keith, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. They are gathered there in a twisted family reunion to release their brother from the room he's been imprisoned in for forty years. Even Christopher Lee drops by as Corrigan, the man who has just purchased the house. Soon, they realize that the caged brother is loose and out for revenge.
What a great plotline and what a dream cast! This movie should have been a hell of a lot better. It's hard to pinpoint the exact problems with the film, but I would venture to say that the lack of lighting was a major fault. Sure the house has no electricity but I think they took the title of the movie a little too literally. Scenes after scenes are barely visible and the actors' faces are undecipherable. Only the moments in the main dinning hall are well lit. Also, the great actors are given very little to do. Cushing gets a few chuckles as the scared brother but Price, Lee and especially Carradine are somewhat wasted here. Well, at least Price gets the best line of the film: `Please don't interrupt me while I am soliloquizing.' And on the plus side, the story has enough twists and turns throughout to keep one`s interest and the ending, while a bit of a cop-out, manages to surprise.