Newest Reviews
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Art of Self-Defense, The
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
  Shout, The Keep It DownBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Alan Bates, Susannah York, John Hurt, Robert Stephens, Tim Curry, Julian Hough, Carol Drinkwater, John Rees, Jim Broadbent, Susan Wooldridge, Nick Stringer, Colin Higgins, Peter Benson
Genre: Horror, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Robert Graves (Tim Curry) arrives in a sleepy English village for a cricket match, but this is distinguished by the fact that it's being played between the locals and the inmates of the mental asylum there. Entering the building, Robert looks around for someone to ask advice of, but there's only a young woman who is acting strangely; nevertheless he follows her outside and is soon met by one of the doctors (Robert Stephens) who tells him he will be keeping the score along with a patient, Charles Crossley (Alan Bates). Crossley turns out to be a well-dressed chap, but odd in demeanour and as the match commences he begins a story that may or may not be true...

The Graves in this film is supposed to be the Graves who wrote the original story, also the author of I, Claudius, an example of the film's nebulous attitude to fact and fiction. Ostensibly a horror film about a man who can kill by shouting, it's less scary and more weird, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that unusually fails to lapse into the nightmarish, it's simply curious. The story Crossley tells involves two people we've seen in passing during the introduction, so are they the same as those in his narrative? It's difficult to tell.

That couple, within the story at any rate, are Anthony Fielding (John Hurt) and his wife Rachel (Susannah York), a musician and his wife living in a farmhouse in the wilds of North Devon. Anthony is working on a concept album made up of unusual sounds, indeed he has his own version of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in operation at his personal studio, and he passes the time recording bees trapped in jam jars and whatnot as fodder for his magnum opus. In addition to that, he also plays organ for the local church, that is when he gets there in time for the beginning of the services.

Who should interrupt this countryside idyll but a tall dark stranger, Crossley as it turns out, putting himself in his own tale. This makes you wonder if the tale he is telling is true, as he appears to be the perfect candidate for entry into an asylum. He claims to have lived in Australia for almost two decades, and while there he lived with Aborigines, marrying one of the local women and learning their magic. However, he also claims to have killed his children by his wife, but according to him it's OK since this is part of Aborigine tradition. Rachel doesn't like him from first sight, but Anthony humours him, even when their guest smashes a wine glass by creating a tone around the rim of another glass with a wet finger.

But what fascinates Anthony the most is Crossley's claims to kill with his voice. Funnily enough, it transpires that he's telling the truth when he takes his host out to the most remote part of the surrounding area he can find, allows him to plug his ears, and then in the film's most striking moment lets out a deafening roar that knocks Anthony unconscious - accidentally killing a hapless shepherd and his flock who they hadn't noticed. All very well, but can the Crossley at the cricket match do the same, or is he a creative liar? Director Jerzy Skolimowski, who adapted the script with Michael Austin, appears to enjoy subverting the cosy Englishness of his setting and the sanctity of marriage as well, when Rachel falls under Crossley's spell, but the whole thing is so enigmatic it's difficult to read, which will probably leave most viewers puzzled. It's not unentertaining, though. Music by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford of Genesis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3399 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: