Frightmare

Frightmare

Director: Pete Walker

Cast: Pete Walker, Sheila Keith, Rupert Davies, Deborah Fairfax

     
 

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This ghoulishly fun Grand Guignol horror piece from director Pete Walker features a tour-de-force performance by Sheila Keith as Dorothy Yates, who was committed to a mental hospital in 1957 for a series of cannibal-killings along with her devoted husband Edmund (Rupert Davies). They are judged sane and released 18 years later, whereupon they take up residence at an… See more details below

Overview

This ghoulishly fun Grand Guignol horror piece from director Pete Walker features a tour-de-force performance by Sheila Keith as Dorothy Yates, who was committed to a mental hospital in 1957 for a series of cannibal-killings along with her devoted husband Edmund (Rupert Davies). They are judged sane and released 18 years later, whereupon they take up residence at an old farm. Edmund's daughter Jackie lives in the city, where she tries to take care of her wild sister Debbie (Kim Butcher), visiting only occasionally and not suspecting a thing. It isn't until Jackie's new psychiatrist boyfriend Graham (Paul Greenwood) starts poking around that she learns the truth. The truth is that Dorothy, far from cured, is drawing people to her home -- through classified ads promising Tarot readings -- and murdering them with metal pokers, electric drills and pitchforks. Not only that, but young Debbie turns out to be a chip off the old butcher-block herself, leading to a gory and harrowing finale. Sheila Keith is outstanding as the crazed Dorothy, and Davies is similarly terrific in a low-key turn as her doting husband, turning a blind eye to his beloved's homicidal lunacy until it is far too late to stop it. A creepy, entertaining bloodbath, Frightmare is highly recommended for horror fans. This 1974 film was rereleased on video in the U.S. during the early 80s and named 'Frightmare II' to advertise it as the sequel to an unrelated film, the 1983 Frightmare directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Although he had previous delved into the horror genre, Frightmare is the film that truly made the case for Pete Walker as an English genre auteur. His script takes a clever approach, rooting its horror elements into a fairly convincing portrait of a dysfunctional family. Thus, when the horror elements rise to the surface, they have a genuinely queasy power. Walker's direction has a nice, unfussy sense of style to it, effectively evoking the atmosphere of English life to create an interesting backdrop for the story's unnerving events. Peter Jessop's sharp lensing and a subtle, melodic score from Stanley Myers are helpful in creating this mood. However, it's the performances that really drive it all home: Deborah Fairfax underplays nicely as the sympathetic heroine while Kim Butcher eagerly digs into a showier role as her troublesome younger sister and Rupert Davies brings a palpable sense of sorrow to his role as the guilty, enabling husband. That said, Sheila Keith delivers the performance that is likely to stick in the viewer's mind as the crazed mother: she veers back and forth between childlike confusion and pure malice with skill and her growing madness in the film's latter phases is likely to give viewers a chill. In short, Frightmare is a potent little chiller that is worth a look to horror fans in search of suitably grim fare from the 1970's and a worthy testament to Pete Walker's distinctive genre skills.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/16/2006
UPC:
0631595061598
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
R
Source:
Shriek Show
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:23:00

Special Features

Anamorphic widescreen presentation (1.85:1); Photo gallery; Original trailer; 5.1 surround sound; Audio commentary with Pete Walker and director of photography Peter Jessop moderated by biographer/professor Steven Chibnall

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sheila Keith Dorothy
Rupert Davies Edmund
Deborah Fairfax Jackie
Leo Genn Dr. Lytell
Kim Butcher Debbie
Noel Johnson Judge
Andrew Sachs Barry
Tommy Wright Nightclub Manager
Fiona Curzon Merle
Trisha Mortimer Lilian
Pamela Farbrother Delia
Victor Winding Detective Inspector
Gerald Flood Matthew

Technical Credits
Pete Walker Director,Original Story,Producer
Chris Burke Art Director
Robert Dearberg Editor
Peter Jessop Cinematographer
David McGillivray Screenwriter
Stanley Myers Score Composer
Tony Tenser Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Frightmare
1. Chapter 1 [6:18]
2. Chapter 2 [11:16]
3. Chapter 3 [4:35]
4. Chapter 4 [5:08]
5. Chapter 5 [7:28]
6. Chapter 6 [8:21]
7. Chapter 7 [2:56]
8. Chapter 8 [2:56]
9. Chapter 9 [4:43]
10. Chapter 10 [15:01]
11. Chapter 11 [10:19]
12. Chapter 12 [5:45]

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