By Eric Polk of http://anotherdescentinto.blogspot.com
This week, I go across the pond to view the 1974 Pete Walker film, Frightmare. In it, I'm promised love, honor, and cannibalism. Well...once again, my hopes have been dashed. In an isolated farmhouse, one Dorothy Yates lives with her husband Edmund following an eighteen year stint at a different sort of farm for killing and eating the flesh of her victims(off-screen).
The cycle begins anew as the Brit's answer to Paula Dean secretly secures young people to her place in Surrey with the promises of tea and tarot...hmmm sounds so utterly a British novel). Naturally, the readings end of murder and a prime time feast(off-screen). .
Meanwhile, another stepdaughter(Debbie)is hanging out with a bike gang. As she does, Debbie also begins arguing about where her sister(Jackie) goes at night. Well turns out, good ol' Jackie is hanging with the 'rents back on the farm since she has developed a taste for man tartar which leads to Debbie and her boyfriend running out the countryside to be reunited with the fam.
Of course, they soon realize something is afoot in Surrey.
The main problem with this film is while it's only 90 mins long, the first half is really nothing but turtle-slow buildup that makes one wonder if the rest of the movie is worth the effort. Well, actually it is. We see the blood and gore cranked up a notch as the old lady uses a drill and pitchfork quite well.
The acting is average, if not a bit above. The storyline of the family is a bit soapy but manageable. Quite frankly, I was surprised by the amount of violence the makers of this film were able to getaway with given the hardcore prudish standards of the British censors at the time. If you can get through the first 45 mins of this, I don't think you'll be disappointed.