The British horror film double bill


Mention British horror films and most people will instantly think of Hammer with its bonk-eyed villagers, studio-based forests and heaving busoms. They have a certain charm to them but we’re going to skip them for this.

Instead we’re going for something a little retro, but also a bit more adult. First off we’re going for silly Brit remake The Cat and The Canary (1978). This is a classic set-up for a horror; a stormy night, a will reading, a cash incentive and trouble afoot.

It starts off simple enough as a gang of distant relatives arrives together to find out who will get the inheritance but things spice up when Edward Fox arrives and starts hamming it up about a madman on the loose.

Queue secret corridors, bodies turning up and massive plotholes. I would seriously recommend turning your brain off and having fun with this one.

I don’t have the trailer so here’a clip (skip to a minute in)

On to the trailers and we’re going really scrungy here. On the fringes of British film-making Pete Walker was making exploitation which was causing a stir. Nasty, obscure and deeply weird I present Frightmare

and House Of Whipcord (NSFW)

One more before we move on, Peeping Tom. It destroyed director Michael Powell career because it was deemed too nasty but it’s a stone cold classic.

Before John Carpenter created Halloween and before Margot Kidder was chased by a maniac in Black Christmas Susan George played a babysitter who was stalked by a psycho in Fright.

Released in 1971 this low-key horror set a lot of the groundwork for the slasher genre. It’s clunky and slow but remains distinctive. At the very least you can marvel at a film which features Dennis Waterman, Honor Blackman and George Cole.

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