Dead Man's Shoes
The Last Horror Movie
Shaun Of The Dead
The Weekend Murders
Kiss Of The Vampire
The Devil's Men
Three Cases Of Murder
Darklands
O Lucky Man

Baffled!
1972

It's unlikely, when compiling a list of stars from British horror films, that you'd include Lee-oh-nard Nee-moy. In fact, you'd probably think it highly illogical (captain). But star in a Brit horror he did, although Baffled!, said film, is right on the fringes of what could be called British. Or horror.
Baffled! Is the vaguely ironic title of a distinctly non-baffling little TV pilot which got a theatrical release in the UK. Despite its obvious US roots, it was filmed at Pinewood and stars a veritable cornucopia of Brit horror talent - Susan "Night Must Fall, and, erm, Monarch Of The Glen" Hampshire, Ray "House Of Whipcord, Flesh And Blood Show, and, erm, Mr Benn" Brooks, Angharad "Hands Of The Ripper" Rees… the list goes on, until it stops there. And that's enough for me.
The whole ridiculous thing is also marvellously entertaining, although 99 per cent of that entertainment is created unwittingly by Leonard "desperate not to be typecast but failing miserably" Spock… I mean Nimoy. As a leading man, he's crap. He acting veers wildly between disinterested to too interested, with lots of mugging to the camera. And the very thought that the extremely gorgeous Miss Hampshire would even look at such a gargoyle just confounds reason.
There's also a lot of fun to be had (if you're so minded) by the thing's deep-rooted 70s telemovie roots, the most glaringly obvious being that during the title sequence, as yellow writing (always a giveaway) details the cast and crew, we're treated to the best bits from the entire film we're about to watch. You Americans don't like surprises much, do you?
Spock is Kovak, a racing driver, who suffers an hallucination during a race in America and has a spectacular crash. As he's being interviewed about his miraculous escape on US television ("All of a sudden I wasn't in Pennsylvania any more"), he's watched by Michelle (Hampshire), who tracks him down during the aforementioned credits. His vision involved a house in Wyntham, Devon ("you can't get much more English than that…"), a screaming woman, a child and somesuch. Michelle, who knows a lot about the occult and how to wear scarves, thinks the woman is in terrible danger and urges him to go there. She tells him she's convinced he has some sort of power "to fight the force of evil".
Sadly, he's not keen, despite reckoning she's "a great looking chick". He changes his mind though, when he has another vision which sees him plummeting into the sea and wakes up on his apartment floor, sopping wet.
In England he hooks up with Hampshire and they arrange to go separately to the house in the vision - which is a hotel. Meanwhile an American woman and her daughter (the child in Kovak's vision) have also arrived, although there's something dodgy going on. Kovak, on arrival, raises a quizzical eyebrow at the stairs, then gurns in turn at the other guests. He recognises everything from his vision.
The girl (who's name is Jenny) and her mother have an assignation with the Jenny's father. At first he doesn't turn up, but when he does he keeps it secret from everyone except Jenny, and urges her to do the same. They enter into some sort of pact, and from that moment on the formerly sedate Jenny turns into a mini-skirted wild child. The mum has also heard a "clavicord", but when she asks the hotel manager (Mrs Faraday), she is told, with great emphasis: "No, we've never had a clavicord…"
From that point on the film shifts into a kind of whodunnit without a dunnit, with a host of red herrings and complications thrown up by Kovak's increasingly incomprehensible visions.
Jenny continues to look older, other members of the cast start looking younger (allegedly), and Kovak dons a fantastic hat to take part in the obligatory car chase during which a supposed racing driver in a souped-up Bentley fails to keep up with a knackered-looking Comma van.
Unintentional hilarity is added when Michelle gets clonked over the head and kidnapped, mid-chase. There's also a fantastic fight at the end between Kovak and what appears to be an old woman.
It's no real wonder that Baffled! didn't get commissioned as a series - throughout it's slightly over-long running time (it does begin to outstay its welcome towards the end with a few too many red herrings) it is full of inconsistencies and stupidity. I'm also unsure of how they planned to continue the story - the idea of a psychic American racing car driver and his slightly dotty girlfriend travelling around Europe solving vaguely Satanic yet-to-be-committed crimes doesn't exactly sound like a winner.
"Michelle… we're leaving for Paris. Someone's in trouble… I don't know who, yet…"

Baffled 1972

Baffled 1972

Baffled 1972

Baffled 1972