The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (Italian title: L'Orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock) is a 1962 Italian horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and written by Ernesto Gastaldi. The film stars Barbara Steele and Robert Flemyng.


The story is set in 1885 and concerns a Dr. Hichcock, a necrophiliac whose horrible secret of the title involves drugging his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her. Several years later he remarries, with the intention of using the blood of his new bride (Steele) to bring his first wife's rotting corpse back to life.


The film was released in Italy on June 30, 1962 and was distributed by Warner Bros.Script error: No such module "Footnotes". The film grossed a total of 142 million Italian lira on its theatrical run.Script error: No such module "Footnotes". Box office returns in Italy were considered strong enough that when the Spanish film Autopsy of a Criminal (1963) was released in Italy, it was promoted as a follow-up titled L'assassino del dott. Hitchkok.Script error: No such module "Footnotes".

It was released on December 2, 1964 in the United States where it was distributed by Sigma III Corporation.Script error: No such module "Footnotes".


From a contemporary review, the New York Times reviewed both The Horrible Dr. Hichcock and The Awful Dr. Orloff stated "For once, the adjectives in the titles were not only descriptive but also accurate."[1]

Glenn Erickson has written his essay "The Horrible Dr. Hichcock: Women on the Verge of a Gothic Breakdown," about how "The outrageous central concern of The Horrible Dr. Hichcock has never been considered appropriate for any film openly advertised and exhibited to the public, horror or otherwise. That a film about the frustrated passions of a necrophiliac could even be released in 1962 is a censorial mystery in its own right -- or, perhaps, a clear testament to the way horror films were officially ignored on every cultural level back then."[2] Meanwhile, the film has been praised as "a unique Italian gothic" with authentic sets, particular artful acting by Fleming and a Barbara Steele at her best.[3]


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  2. Erickson, Glenn. The Horrible Dr. Hichcock: Women on the Verge of a Gothic Breakdown,
  3. Hughes, p.81

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External links

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