Sheila Keith, eh? Quite how director Pete Walker decided that such a sweet-looking
mumsy type could play the variety of nutters she does in his films is
anyone's guess. I'll just put it down to the man's genius.
In Frightmare she's a deranged cannibal granny, who spends much
of her time luring people into her home to have their fortunes read. Of
course, reading these poor unfortunates' fortunes doesn't take very long
at all when "You will be brutally killed and eaten within the next
ten minutes" is a dead cert.
Sheila has been released from psychiatric care after being "cured",
her unfortunate (and sane) husband being so much in love with her that
he had himself committed too to remain close.
Now she's out the killing hasn't stopped, and all her poor hubbie can
do is cover it up. Meanwhile her step daughter brings in raw meat in an
attempt to satiate her desires, little knowing what's actually going on.
Step daughter also looks after Sheila's real daughter, who is displaying
signs of following in the family footsteps.
Real daughter eventually finds out the truth about mummy, and the two
round on step daughter whilst all the pathetic father can do is stand
and watch, horrified
Yes, it is that bleak. Much in the same way
that House Of Whipcord gives a strict lesson
about the dangers of taking the law into your own hands, Frightmare
appears to be warning that care in the community doesn't work.
Whether you agree with that stance or not, Frightmare is terrifying
stuff. Chuck in the usual trapping of an early 70s low budget film (a
bit of nudity, crap teenagers, gratuitous violence) and you've got a film
with something for everyone. Just don't watch it if you're feeling depressed
already - it might tip you over the edge!
Director: Pete Walker Writer(s): David McGillivray Pete Walker
Cast: Rupert Davies - Edmund Yates, Sheila Keith - Dorothy Yates, Deborah
Fairfax - Jackie, Paul Greenwood - Graham, Kim Butcher - Debbie, Fiona Curzon
- Merle, Jon Yule - Robin, Trisha Mortimer - Lillian (as Tricia Mortimer), Pamela
Fairbrother - Delia, Edward Kalinski - Alec, Victor Winding - Detective Inspector,
Anthony Hennessey - Detective Sergeant, Noel Johnson - The Judge, Michael Sharvell-Martin
- Barman, Tommy Wright - Nightclub Manager, Andrew Sachs - Barry Nichols, Nicholas
John - Peter, Jack Dagmar - Old Man, Leo Genn - Dr. Lytell, Gerald Flood - Matthew
Laurence, Bill Barnsley - Patrolman, L.W. Clarke - Patrolman, David McGillivray,
Sue Shaper, Martin Taylor - Guest, Pete Walker - Mr. Brunskill (voice)