It's interesting noting some of the comments of displeasure about this film -- "boring", "dull", "uneventful". What's funny is that this is an early prototype of what became known as the Mad Slasher film where a scarred, dysfunctional wretch goes on a killing spree in some secluded locale, using a flashy means of disposing his victims who more often than not are just getting what they had coming. What is amusing is seeing the fans of the modern day versions of the basic story reacting with a certain amount of glib indifference. I felt the same way about French Impressionism when taking art history; "BOR-RING." Boy, was I wrong.
THE PLOT; A group of perpetually drink-clutching and cigarette puffing modly dressed hipsters who have obviously seen BLOW-UP decide to go have a smashing party at the local supposedly haunted manor out in the middle of nowhere. Some of them have more than one story to tell as far as why they are drawn to their circle of friends, who seem to regard each other with scorn when gathered together & more friendly-like when off on their own. A scruffy Scotland Yard detective (priceless Freddie Jones) and a scruffy, pock-marked, sinister private investigator are both caught unprepared when someone starts slaughtering the kids both during and after their party, and the clues seem to hint that it's either a vengeful poltergeist ... or one of their own.
DON'T ANYBODY GIVE AWAY THE ENDING!! It's not much of a surprise but it then again that's half the fun of these things. What makes this one kind of tick are the hipster trappings which seem unaware that it wasn't 1967 anymore, and how it seems to pattern itself after the "Giallo" films coming out of Italy at about the same time. I wish the supernatural angle had been played up more but found the three rather grisly killings to be quite over-the-top, had fun remembering what it was like to poke around inside of old houses with a candle with your knucklehead buddies on a dare, and it's always great to see Kim Haworth back in her leggy, sexy fox days. If you're looking for shocks this probably isn't a good suggestion but it's a finely made very British film that just banks more on style instead of flying body parts.
It's also kind of too bad that as the "Trivia" section hints at, the then just starting to heat up David Bowie was suggested and then rejected for a key role. If he'd gotten the part this might have retained a certain cult status beyond the sum of it's parts like Roeg's PERFORMANCE ... Frankie Avalon does not a Thin White Duke make. What a lousy decision.
5/10; Neutral. Neither good nor bad, but then again how very British.
Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
A group of sixties teenagers bored with the party they're at drive out to a deserted old mansion, but their laughter turns to fear when one of them is killed in a frenzied knife attack. Another of them persuades the rest that they should solve the murder themselves rather than go to the police, not surprisingly opening the way to further carnage.
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May 18, 2019 at 08:32 PM