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Despite its short comings, this cult horror is quite tense at times. Two sisters keep their mentally disturbed brother locked in a cellar, but he gets out.....
Several grisly murders of soldiers from a Lancastrian army barracks occur.
Grisly injuries caused by a 'human' animal.
The film then strangely switches to a large section of dialogue between two ageing and eccentric ladies played by Beryl Reid and Flora Robson. The dialogue switching between village gossip, celery and caffeinated drinks.
What connection do they have to the murders except being within the vacinity?
The reason becomes clear as the film progresses and the death count increases.
The film looks visibly aged (it was made in 1970).
Beryl Reid looks like Joan Sims off the Carry On franchise. Robson like a modern day Helen Mirren.
The music score is very 1970.
The special effects are non-existant. The budget must have been miniscule with very low filming done on location.
As the plot unravels one cannot think that they have just wasted 90 minutes of their lives.
Produced by Tigon British Film Productions, and directed by James Kelley, (from TV's Bootsie and Snudge and Our Man at St. Mark's), this is a very schlocky horror that is quite slow moving and takes it's sweet time in getting going. It promises a lot, but most of it's suspense doesn't begin until it's nearly too late. Which is a shame, considering it has a good cast and all. At an Army base in Lancashire, there have been killings of soldiers by what appears to be an animal, Sgt. Young (John Kelland) brings in Superintendent Paddick (T.P. McKenna) to investigate. At a house on the edge of the army base perimeter live two elderly sisters Ellie (Beryl Reid) and Joyce Ballantyne (Flora Robson), who live quiet lives, and keep to themselves. Ellie is always nostalgic for the good old days of their childhood, but Joyce is domineering, claiming their childhood wasn't as good as she remembers it. They're visited with groceries by Corporal Alan Marlow (John Hamill), but the sisters have a dark secret... It's a very silly and grainy horror film, the only good thing going for it are the performances, but something like this is screaming to be gorier and nastier, but it isn't, it's suggestive but that's it. Oh, and look out for Chris Chittell (Eric Pollard off Emmerdale.)
not very good to be honest, not scary at all
Ok, I'm going to say straight off the bat, this is, in my experience, the most difficult film in the world to watch...ever. This is not because it had challenging concepts, or a complicated plot. Nor was it because it was sh*t the bed scary, or horrifically brutal (I'm guessing this film was supposed to be a horror by the way). It was purely because the film is painfully dull. In fact, the only thing scary about it was the fact that it made its way onto a videocassette, and as for concepts and plot... err yeah.
I don't want you to think at this point that I'm just moaning because my blood-lust was not fulfilled, this hatred for the film goes much deeper. I am not talking your regular Hammer Horror dull; I'm talking old women on a bus discussing the price of ham dull! Believe it or not, that's not far from the synopsis of this torture of a film, just replace the bus with a house, and the price of ham with a lack of celery and you've got it. I know I'm telling you this is a sh*t film (it is by the way), but I feel I must say - you have to see it to believe it, I'm sure the first twenty minutes was actually a conversation about celery. To make matters worse, both characters in true old lady fashion repeat the frustratingly tedious lines
"we appear to have no celery"
"we should get some" "get some?"
"yes we should get some celery"
(not actual script)
Basically, it plods along like that for the duration, with a couple of mildly amusing murders, and a few other laughable scenes - all funny for the wrong reasons of course.
I don't blame the writing in so much as I think it achieved what was intended, likewise the performances from the leading ladies were spot on (capturing two dithering old bats perfectly). You just have to question the disturbed mind that would want to create this bordomiser they call 'Beast in the Cellar' - Oh yeah, there is a 'beast' (well a man with long hair) in the cellar, but that's more of a sub-plot.
Good for camp value and not much else.
Not much kop at all really. Seemed quite amateurish at times and the scares were poorly done. I expected better.
This is one bloody terrible film, it almost makes it into the category it is so bad its good. This might of looked good on paper, two old spinsters who keep their deranged brother in a cellar, who then escapes and goes on the rampage. Sounds good, but throw Beryl Reid into the mix and some piss poor production values it falls totally arse! Donâ(TM)t get me wrong I like Beryl Reid but she is bloody terrible in this film, it is actually unbelievable how bad some of it is. There are just long sequences of herself and Flora Robson talking about utter crap. God help anyone who went to watch this at the cinema.
Believe it or not though there are some positives, the middle of the film it actually does pick up and becomes quite good, I also like the soundtrack too it is very retro which kind of detracts away from how crap it is. The ending though is absolutely appalling, you have to listen to a half an hour by Beryl Reid before you see those credits role! It should of really been called The B**llocks in the cellar!
Dame Flora Robson and Beryl Reid are elderly sisters with a secret in their cellar - a literary chestnut served up for quite muted shocks here. Nothing very original or brilliant but the lead actresses give the enterprise a touch of class and this is perfectly acceptable. Look out for Roberta Tovey (Susan in the Peter Cushing 'Doctor Who' films) who very early on makes a brief appearance as a scream-and-run-away girl.
This is a moody horror tale from the 70's, but one that lacks any real scares. It mainly suffers from a lack of pace born out of the fact the emphasis is placed too much on the dialogue between two dotty old ladies.