HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Crescendo Maim That Tune
Year: 1970
Director: Alan Gibson
Stars: Stefanie Powers, James Olson, Margaretta Scott, Jane Lapotaire, Joss Ackland, Kirsten Lindholm
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Georges Ryman (James Olson) is riding his horse through the countryside when he reaches a place where he sees a woman he thinks he recognises. Dismounting, he walks up to her and takes her in an embrace, kissing her passionately as they resume their passion, but then Georges notices someone advancing on them, holding a shotgun. He turns to confront the man only to see that he looks exactly like him - then the mysterious stranger pulls the trigger and Georges whips around to realise the woman he is with is actually a dessicated corpse!

Good grief! This introductory sequence is of course a dream, or a nightmare to be exact, an arresting way to open what was by this time very familiar territory for Britain's Hammer studios. What this turned out to be was a revisit to old ground well-established by their psychothrillers since the early sixties with such works as Taste of Fear and Paranoiac, to name but a few, still taking a Gothic approach to horror but updating them to the modern world to show audiences how they were not all about the costume chillers and had more than one string to their bow. Except that even without the presence of a Dracula or a Frankenstein, it was really more of the same.

Or it certainly was by the point Crescendo was released, so much so that if you had watched at least a couple of movies in this twist in the tale fashion you may well be ahead of the characters, or have sussed what might actually be going on. As often with these affairs, it was a damsel in distress who was our guide through the plot, in this case Susan Roberts, played by American import Stefanie Powers in the period between The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and Hart to Hart when she was trying to establish herself as a movie star. There were other talents who found themselves best employed by television here, not least director Alan Gibson and co-writer Alfred Shaughnessy.

That could be why some think this was a T.V. movie, though it wasn't, it was simply released in many territories in a cut form to get a lower rating, then quickly sold to the small screen where it would occasionally show up, often late at night. But it was indeed a cinema production, as the inclusion of Hammer's go to man for a solid script Jimmy Sangster would indicate, and if you saw this uncut, then the nudity and violence added to what was a fairly perverse yarn would be a strong hint to that as well. Powers' character is the one uncovering the details of the mystery and subsequently caught up in a tangled web of corrosive family relationships somewhere in a picturesque region of France.

Ostensibly Susan was there to research a celebrated pianist and composer's work so she could complete her thesis, and the composer's widow Danielle (Margaretta Scott) has invited her to go through his papers and stay around for a month at the isolated villa where they lived with their son Georges, who is actually in a wheelchair thanks to an accident which naturally goes unexplained until the finale. Adding in a saucy French maid (Jane Lapotaire in her first film) who Georges likes to canoodle with while he's high on his "medication" was an unusual move towards keeping things on the extreme side of what the censor of the day would allow, though milder than what would be arriving in horror movies throughout the next ten years, but for the most part this was a curiously static and airless work, only exploding into life for its climax as the dead bodies pile up and all is revealed. This just about made it worth sticking with, no matter how daft the explanation was, but it was clear Hammer were running out of ideas. Music by Malcolm Williamson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1792 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 star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: