HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
Zatoichi and the Chess Player
Ingrid Goes West
Boys from Fengkuei, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
   
 
  House of Mortal Sin Priest UnleashedBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Pete Walker
Stars: Anthony Sharp, Susan Penhaligon, Stephanie Beacham, Norman Eshley, Sheila Keith, Hilda Barry, Stewart Bevan, Julia McCarthy, John Yule, Mervyn Johns, Kim Butcher, Victor Winding, Bill Kerr, Ivor Salter, Jack Allen, Andrew Sachs, Jane Hayward
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pregnant Valerie (Kim Butcher) rushes home one night to her parents' house in tears, lets herself in and hurries up the stairs. Her father hears her and calls, but there is no reply. In her room, Valerie finds her Bible and scrabbles through the pages until she settles on one chapter, then sits down to write a note. When her parents venture up to see if she is all right, they have to break the door down when there's no sound and there they see the open window and through it, the body of Valerie who has committed suicide. What could have driven the young woman to this? Is it anything to do with a certain Father Meldrum (Anthony Sharp), the local priest?

For the horror films of director Pete Walker, writer David McGillivray took on various establishment targets at Walker's bidding: in House of Whipcord it was the law, in Frightmare it was the family and this time around it was religion. As with those previous two films, this was a bleak little example of the director's peculiarly provincial chillers, with heroines living with the realities of the permissive society in conflict with the disdain of the older generation who inevitably show themselves up to be far more corrupt, and corrupting, than the youngsters.

Not every member of the middle-aged and above is a villain here of course, but the ones who are really go to town with their perversity. Our heroine for this instalment is Jenny Welch (Susan Penhaligon - presumably Susan George was busy) who nearly gets knocked down by a priest in her first scene. He turns out to be a kindly, open minded young man of the cloth who Jenny knows from a while back, Bernard (Norman Eshley, best known for his appearances as the neighbour in sitcom George and Mildred). She has a coffee with him, then goes to tell her sister Vanessa (Stephanie Beacham) who she's just met.

Jenny stays in the flat above her sister's shop with her boyfriend Terry (Stewart Bevan), but her relationship with him has broken down and he's moved out today. Seeking solace, Jenny looks for Bernard to speak to at the local church, but oh dear, she actually ends up confessing to Father Meldrum who takes an unhealthy interest in her and tape records what she says for his future blackmailing purposes. This simple act of betrayal snowballs into a series of killings that see most of the cast kicking the bucket over the course of the story, and all because Meldrum's moralistic mania has pushed him over the edge into dangerous insanity.

Walker and McGillivray are careful to make sure they don't appear to believe all priests are homicidal nutters in waiting, but that's certainly the impression you take away from House of Mortal Sin. There are implications that Meldrum's mother (Hilda Barry), now a geriatric invalid, has sent him down this path, or it could be his housekeeper Miss Brabazon (Sheila Keith complete with one blacked-out lens in her spectacles), whatever, the cruelty starts early and doesn't let up. Jenny is forced into a "they won't believe me" plot, which unfortunately incapacitates her for too many of the later scenes, but the way the creepier, suffocating aspects of religion are brought out is bold and effective. As a whole, it's a callous, low budget and grey-toned work, but stays with the viewer longer than slicker horrors then or since. Music by Stanley Myers.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3313 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
  Rachel Franke
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: