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(a.k.a. The Legend Of Doom House)
A Film By Harry Kümel

“Life, what is it but a dream?”
– Lewis Carroll

As a weary sailor named Jan (Matthieu Carrière) sets foot on dry land, he is mysteriously abducted and awakens in the isolated mansion of Malpertuis. There, he is reunited with his sister Nancy (Susan Hampshire) and an eclectic group of distant relatives, each summoned by his dying uncle Quentin Cassavius (Orson Welles). Cassavius wishes to will all of his heirs an equal portion of his fortune. However, in return, each must honor his dying request: They are to remain within Malpertuis for the rest of their lives, the last couple to marry.

Trapped on the grounds of the sprawling mansion, Jan investigates as those who try to flee are dispatched in peculiar ways. Jan slowly spirals into madness as he realizes his uncle’s true intent and the nightmare world of Malpertuis takes hold.

Based on the classic fantasy novel by Belgian author Jean Ray, Malpertuis was director Harry Kümel’s follow up to the acclaimed Daughters of Darkness. Barrel Entertainment is proud to present Kümel’s surrealist masterpiece in two distinct versions: The quickly-assembled English-language edit that premiered at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, and the newly restored Dutch-language director’s cut — re-edited to 119 minutes as Kümel intended and presented here in a new high definition transfer.

Special Features include:

Disc 1:

  • Malpertuis: Director’s Cut (1973; 119 minutes) Dutch language with removable English subtitles
  • Audio commentary from director Harry Kümel
  • Orson Welles Uncut, a 25-minute featurette containing rare outtakes footage of Welles during the filming of Malpertuis
  • Susan Hampshire: One Actress, Three Parts, an 11-minute featurette containing new interviews with Hampshire

Disc 2:

  • Malpertuis: Cannes Version (1972; 100 minutes)
  • Reflections of Darkness: Del Valle on Kümel, a new 74-minute career-length interview with director Kümel by noted film journalist David Del Valle
  • Jean Ray / John Flanders, a 7-minute featurette that delves into the fantastical world of the Belgian writer including archival interview footage
  • Trailer

Plus liner notes from film historians David Del Valle and Ernest Mathijs

“Filmed in luscious color by Gerry Fisher and with a haunting Georges Delerue score, Malpertuis is a dream film unlike any other, and can now be seen in its full glory.”
– David Thompson, B.F.I.

“Malpertuis is at once totally delirious, and a marvel of control. It has to be seen to be believed – although see it and chances are, you still won’t believe it.”
– Jonathan Romney, The Independent on Sunday


Release Date: 07/24/07

File Under Under Horror / Cult
Not Rated | 1972/1973 | Approx. 120 min
Color | NTSC | Mono | 1.85:1 / 16x9
UPC 690816601197
Suggested Retail Price: $29.95

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