Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible

Starring: Steve Coogan, Julia Davis, John Thomson and Honor Blackman
BBC Worldwide
RRP: £15.99

Certificate: 15
Available now

Step into a world of oriental opium fiends, bloodsucking beauties, witch-hunters and lizard men as the enigmatic and perverse Dr Terrible introduces six truly diabolical tales of devilish doing...

From Blackburn 1645 to London 1972, Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible works its way through British history wickedly parodying many of the classic Hammer movies.

If you remember the 1964 Hammer movie Dr Terror's House of Horrors then you'll really appreciate the first episode in this collection. And Now the Fearing... sees three of society's nastiest individuals recounting their worst nightmares while trapped in a lift.

Frenzy of Tongs sees The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss as the mysterious bony fingered menace from the East in a wonderful take on the numerous Fu Manchu movie.

Another notable episode is Voodoo feet of Death which is a great take on the style of B-movie's that would see a classic pianist loose his hands in an accident, only to have new ones grafted which belonged to a murder. These hands then seemed to have a mind of their own and would set out on a killing spree.

With an impressive list of guest actors - including Honor Blackman, Warwick Davis, Alexander Armstrong, Ben Miller, John Thompson, Mark Gatiss, Graham Crowden, Sarah Alexander and Simon Pegg - you can have almost as much fun watching the episodes and trying to guess who all the guest stars are.

Steve Coogan proves finally, after a number of failed attempts to shake the Alan Partridge character, that he is a versatile comedy actor. Okay, the Calf family were entertaining, but why he tried to make a serious character out of Tony Ferrino - who is a one gag character - is anyone's guess.

The extras on the disc are also pretty good. These include your standard audio commentaries, a making of featurette, production notes and a photo gallery.

Over three hours of first rate entertainment for under £15? Are the BBC mad? Snap this up now before anyone realises! Destined to become a classic collection.

Pete Boomer

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