Frightmare Reviews

  • Oct 12, 2020

    ***TRIGGER WARNING!!!*** This is a Pete Walker movie. In 1957 Dorothy Yates and her husband Edmund are convicted of murder and cannibalism (!) and sent to an asylum until the film's present day (1974). They are then released supposedly fully cured and living a quiet life. But are they? The answer, of course, is no! The film shows Dorothy not being cured at all but using the cover of giving tarot readings to people who she then kills and eats. The film also deals with Jackie (Edmund's daughter from a previous marriage) who regularly visits the couple offering gifts of animal brains whilst falsely telling them that they are actually human remains and that she is actually killing people so that her stepmother doesn't relapse and remains free. It is also revealed that her father had actually faked being complicit in the crimes and faked madness so that he could stay with his wife. Jackie lives with Debbie, a wayward 15 year old who is the actual daughter of the couple who was placed into an orphanage as a baby just after her parents were institutionalised. She has recently been expelled from there as she is too much for the authorities to deal with and so spends most of her time with her boyfriend who is the leader of a violent biker gang. Wow. There's a lot going on in this film that is typical Pete Walker fare in that it's dark, violent and dares to go to the places that other milder horror films dare not go. Which is exactly why I love him. He knows exactly what horror fans want and he delivers it in spades. But there is more than meets the eye. Frightmare is also blackly funny, almost (and intentionally) vaudevillian at times and extremely intelligent. This is not just a horror movie but also a funny and very perceptive satire on family values and blood (pardon the pun) being thicker than water. Add to that gorgeous cinematography, amazing locales (loving the London scenes and surrounding area shots) and a moment in time being captured not just on film but also regarding film (this was a boon time for British horror with Hammer, Tigon, Amicus and directors like Walker all making great horror movies which would do amazing business at the box office). I love the scene where Jackie drags her new boyfriend out of a screening of Blow Up. What a great statement on art movies which were then in vogue in some quarters of the mainstream. All of the characters are brilliantly drawn and portrayed fantastically well with Walker regular Sheila Keith playing Dorothy with twisted relish. She is also able to be completely nuts one minute and then change into a repentant innocent little wife persona when her husband has seen what she's done. Kim Butcher as Debbie is also great when it comes to portraying a young girl with the quality to make others do her evil bidding for her. This is shown when she tells her biker boyfriend about the barman who wouldn't serve her but then embellishes the story. Her boyfriend and his biker friends wait for him after the nightclub they are in has closed up to give him a good hiding. She reminds me of Chris Hargensen from Carrie. The film hits every target it aims for with a bullseye and is pretty much perfect. I honestly think Frightmare is a twisted masterpiece.

    ***TRIGGER WARNING!!!*** This is a Pete Walker movie. In 1957 Dorothy Yates and her husband Edmund are convicted of murder and cannibalism (!) and sent to an asylum until the film's present day (1974). They are then released supposedly fully cured and living a quiet life. But are they? The answer, of course, is no! The film shows Dorothy not being cured at all but using the cover of giving tarot readings to people who she then kills and eats. The film also deals with Jackie (Edmund's daughter from a previous marriage) who regularly visits the couple offering gifts of animal brains whilst falsely telling them that they are actually human remains and that she is actually killing people so that her stepmother doesn't relapse and remains free. It is also revealed that her father had actually faked being complicit in the crimes and faked madness so that he could stay with his wife. Jackie lives with Debbie, a wayward 15 year old who is the actual daughter of the couple who was placed into an orphanage as a baby just after her parents were institutionalised. She has recently been expelled from there as she is too much for the authorities to deal with and so spends most of her time with her boyfriend who is the leader of a violent biker gang. Wow. There's a lot going on in this film that is typical Pete Walker fare in that it's dark, violent and dares to go to the places that other milder horror films dare not go. Which is exactly why I love him. He knows exactly what horror fans want and he delivers it in spades. But there is more than meets the eye. Frightmare is also blackly funny, almost (and intentionally) vaudevillian at times and extremely intelligent. This is not just a horror movie but also a funny and very perceptive satire on family values and blood (pardon the pun) being thicker than water. Add to that gorgeous cinematography, amazing locales (loving the London scenes and surrounding area shots) and a moment in time being captured not just on film but also regarding film (this was a boon time for British horror with Hammer, Tigon, Amicus and directors like Walker all making great horror movies which would do amazing business at the box office). I love the scene where Jackie drags her new boyfriend out of a screening of Blow Up. What a great statement on art movies which were then in vogue in some quarters of the mainstream. All of the characters are brilliantly drawn and portrayed fantastically well with Walker regular Sheila Keith playing Dorothy with twisted relish. She is also able to be completely nuts one minute and then change into a repentant innocent little wife persona when her husband has seen what she's done. Kim Butcher as Debbie is also great when it comes to portraying a young girl with the quality to make others do her evil bidding for her. This is shown when she tells her biker boyfriend about the barman who wouldn't serve her but then embellishes the story. Her boyfriend and his biker friends wait for him after the nightclub they are in has closed up to give him a good hiding. She reminds me of Chris Hargensen from Carrie. The film hits every target it aims for with a bullseye and is pretty much perfect. I honestly think Frightmare is a twisted masterpiece.

  • Jul 19, 2018

    a dreary english cannibal movie

    a dreary english cannibal movie

  • Nov 06, 2016

    two cannibals are released from an asylum but have not been totally reformed

    two cannibals are released from an asylum but have not been totally reformed

  • Mar 20, 2015

    Great low budget British horror/exploitation film from the mid 1970s. The subject being cannibalism (shocking!) The cast including the main star Sheila Keith put in top drawer performances added to clever film making by other crew members. Director Pete Walker shocked with all his films in this period. He was rightly renowned for his anti - establishment film making that shocked some of the liberal press and censors of the time. In this film we see what can happen when mass murderer's are released early. In this case only 15 years after being sentenced to treatment at a mental institution. It brings sad comparisons to real life cases such as the Bulger kilkers and the Moors Murderers pleas for clemency that were often championed by do-gooders such as Lord Longford. The film has aged well and the print I watched was excellent quality unlike The House Of Mortal Sin, Walker's next film. Watching this gem has made me want to watch other Walker work including Die Screaming Marianne and House of Whipcord.

    Great low budget British horror/exploitation film from the mid 1970s. The subject being cannibalism (shocking!) The cast including the main star Sheila Keith put in top drawer performances added to clever film making by other crew members. Director Pete Walker shocked with all his films in this period. He was rightly renowned for his anti - establishment film making that shocked some of the liberal press and censors of the time. In this film we see what can happen when mass murderer's are released early. In this case only 15 years after being sentenced to treatment at a mental institution. It brings sad comparisons to real life cases such as the Bulger kilkers and the Moors Murderers pleas for clemency that were often championed by do-gooders such as Lord Longford. The film has aged well and the print I watched was excellent quality unlike The House Of Mortal Sin, Walker's next film. Watching this gem has made me want to watch other Walker work including Die Screaming Marianne and House of Whipcord.

  • Jan 17, 2015

    Fine low budget horror-chiller, with a good eerie, but modern day mood captured in the direction.

    Fine low budget horror-chiller, with a good eerie, but modern day mood captured in the direction.

  • Jan 17, 2013

    Released from prison, a couple starts indulging their cannibalistic urges once again, and there's hints that their children may also suffer from the family curse. Watchable, but Jesus Christ the older female lead looks like Jonathan Winters in drag, which is amazingly distracting. Rental?

    Released from prison, a couple starts indulging their cannibalistic urges once again, and there's hints that their children may also suffer from the family curse. Watchable, but Jesus Christ the older female lead looks like Jonathan Winters in drag, which is amazingly distracting. Rental?

  • Dec 25, 2012

    Pete Walker's horror masterpiece: As intense now as it ever was--Quite deranged...rather great!!

    Pete Walker's horror masterpiece: As intense now as it ever was--Quite deranged...rather great!!

  • Dec 23, 2012

    Unless you are a bit strange in the head I would suggest avoiding this giant waste of time.

    Unless you are a bit strange in the head I would suggest avoiding this giant waste of time.

  • Oct 20, 2012

    what a super video nasty surprise. Sheila Keith is amazingly evil and plays the role with a quiet abandon that makes the villain, banal and real and incredibly scary. While the violence is a bit British, in that none of the victims to more than stand and wait for the their demise with a horrified grimace and a pleading, "Pardon me, miss cannibal psychopath, but if it would not be so much of a bother, I would prefer you did not stab me with that fireplace poker." Still, effectively gruesome and lingering horror movie.

    what a super video nasty surprise. Sheila Keith is amazingly evil and plays the role with a quiet abandon that makes the villain, banal and real and incredibly scary. While the violence is a bit British, in that none of the victims to more than stand and wait for the their demise with a horrified grimace and a pleading, "Pardon me, miss cannibal psychopath, but if it would not be so much of a bother, I would prefer you did not stab me with that fireplace poker." Still, effectively gruesome and lingering horror movie.

  • Jun 20, 2012

    I give it four stars for Sheila Keith. Her performance is outstanding; she's a woman you don't want to mess with. But I wanted to see more killing more use of the drill that she always carries around, but it wasn't bad.

    I give it four stars for Sheila Keith. Her performance is outstanding; she's a woman you don't want to mess with. But I wanted to see more killing more use of the drill that she always carries around, but it wasn't bad.