"Too clever for its own good" was how this film was reviewed
at the time, but to these jaded eyes, more used to your Se7ens
and your Usual Suspects, its not all that smart.
Once more its a Hammer thriller, which involves someone being driven
bonkers by strange goings-on. In this case its American "beefcake"
Robert Webber, who is suffering from amnesia following a car crash and
is trying to piece his life back together along with his dodgy looking
Of course, when hes offered the use of a fancy penthouse suite by
a mystery benefactor, no-one bats an eyelid.
And when it turns out the penthouse was the scene of a murder six months
ago, no-one seems to care.
And when our hero starts waking up in the middle of the night hearing
ghostly voices arguing and finds bloody knives scattered around, still
no-one gives a toss. It mustve been something to do with the swinging
60s, I suppose.
Things start to come together during an elongated flashback sequence smack
in the middle, when our hero turns out to be not quite as clean cut as
first thought. Maurice Denham pops up too as a seedy private eye with
a nice line in self defence.
Theres something quite nice about these little films at least
by having a twist at the end, it proves that someones given a certain
amount of thought to the storyline but the "twist" in
this one has all the subtlety of a speeding train, and can be seen coming
from just about as far off, too.
All of these films can trace their origins back to Psycho, and
in Hysteria its really obvious. Still, youve got to
admire the kind of film maker who thinks "if one shower scene got
em all going a few years ago, think how apeshit theyll go
when we bung in several of them!" And bung them in they did.
Director: Freddie Francis Writer(s): Jimmy Sangster
Cast: Robert Webber - Chris Smith, Anthony Newlands - Dr. Keller, Jennifer
Jayne - Gina McConnell, Maurice Denham - Hemmings, Lelia Goldoni - Denise James,
Peter Woodthorpe - Marcus Allan, Sandra Boize - English Girl, Sue Lloyd - French
Girl, John Arnatt - Mr. James, Marianne Stone - Marcus Allan's Secretary, Irene
Richmond, Kiwi Kingston