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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    The sad news of Roy Ward Baker's passing has prompted me to watch this again. I've always adored this little horror, being scripted by Roger Marshall, stunning photographed by Denys Coop and well directed by RWB. It's also an oddly literate and poetic script alongside its pretty horrifyingly plotline, and evokes a very good period atmosphere. Any other fans of it here?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I like this one too. The lighting is very effective and atmospheric and Stephanie Beacham suitably traumatic! One of Amicus's few non-compendium productions.



    I wasn't so keen on Peter Cushing's "Helen Hayes" hairdo though!

  3. #3
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    Its based on a novel called Fengriffen by David Case. The novel doesn't have any of the murders by the severed hand (presumably Milton Subotsky was still paying rent on the prop he had left over from Dr Terrors House of Horrors) and is told from the point of view of Dr Pope. The novel commences with Pope arriving at the mansion, an event which occurs about half way through the film.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England wideboy's Avatar
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    I watched this again recently, not having seen it since its original release. I thought it stood up pretty well, and as well as agreeing with the points made by Pye, I also liked Douglas Gamley's score very much.

  5. #5
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    Yes the score is superb, there are a few bits of music that are reused from his ASYLUM score in the sequence where Guy Rolfe is riding through the woods prior to getting murdered. I think the use of the zither throughout is very effective. The climax of the film is remarkably grim and I think the sequence of Charles' "revenge" on his late ancestor was cut from some versions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Jordan
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    Its based on a novel called Fengriffen by David Case. The novel doesn't have any of the murders by the severed hand (presumably Milton Subotsky was still paying rent on the prop he had left over from Dr Terrors House of Horrors) and is told from the point of view of Dr Pope. The novel commences with Pope arriving at the mansion, an event which occurs about half way through the film.


    I read the book, well its more of a novella really, long before I saw the film and then was pretty disappointed when it was given the 'Amicus' treatment. Watching again on the Amicus boxed set, I concede its one of their better and more interesting productions but still flawed. Roy Baker does okay with it but he was a little conventional I'd loved to have seen Peter Sasdy tackle it

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    I just saw this last night, after many years. The title is excellent, and I remembered how - among stiff competition from a number of "Scream/Screaming"-based titles, it really stood out, holding huge promise and threat ... And watching it again now, it's a pleasant surprise (not sure of 'pleasant' is the right word). Personally, unlike some posters, I found the music was a bit dominant at times, but yes, it did work well when it worked.
    Beacham was an exceptional screamer (which she talks about in her rather dismissive comments about the film in Radio 4's Houses of Horror: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03s9tm7) and her face had the right mix of terror and utter disbelief/refusal to accept what was happening. Ogilvy is fine as a man who simply refuses to buy into a ridiculous legend and hates to see what he had hoped would be a safe, wealthy, landed-gentry life destroyed by hysterics and superstition ... I think the film could have gone either way at the halfway point, and the introduction of Peter Cushing as Dr Pope at that point puts us safely back on the "Spooky Gothic" side, rather than the seriously nasty nightmare side that a less reassuring and familiar actor might have led us to - maybe Anthony Bate or someone.
    The hand was impressive because, call me Little Miss Silly, I always find amputated, crawling hands an impressive image, but it really didn't make much logical sense (surprisingly).
    That graveyard scene referred to by Pye above is still quite jarring. You can almost smell the stench ... and Cushing's 'leaving him to it' remains powerful.

    Altogether a fine bit of Gothic horror fun, well-acted, beautifully lit ... as has been mentioned, they could have calmed down a bit on Cushing's hair, but hairdryers were notoriously powerful in 1795, as I understand, so maybe it was realism.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    they could have calmed down a bit on Cushing's hair, but hairdryers were notoriously powerful in 1795, as I understand, so maybe it was realism.
    Cushing appears to be wearing the same hairpiece as in Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell.

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