ON-ITS-LAST-LEGS FINAL throw of the dice for the fine folk at Hammer, basically boiling down essence of numerous 60s/70s films into hour long made-for-TV (i.e. made for America) soupcons of suspense. Not bad, all told, with extra points for running amok with the kind of gore and guts which always got your mates excited in the playground the day after. Masterminded by the amusingly-named ROY SKEGGS. Highlights included:
– Lady journo investigating a health farm that turned out to be a cover for a load of plane crash survivors busy fattening up the staff then eating them. Heroine ended up, ahem, “just desserts”.
– DENHOLM ELLIOTT having dreams about doing his secretary, only for her to die horribly falling down lift shaft because he wouldn’t kill his wife. On waking he’d find said secretary sporting new kinky outfit on (including a school uniform, a plastic mac, 70s disco gear), then do it again (once inside a telephone box, with nipples on show). Eventually after having about five dreams within dreams he does kill his wife – but this time he was awake…
– PETER CUSHING devising a complex electric current lock to keep a couple hostage, only for them to escape, shove him in the cell and leave him there. On returning home they found themselves sealed in their own house – Cushing previously fixing locks in cruel act of foresight – and everyone starves to death.
– DIANA DORS (all the big names here) in a werewolf tale that involved CHRISTOPHER CASENOVE and a woman off TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED stopping at deserted farm house (bad move), getting raped, then fancying some raw meat. Pregnancy follows, she runs off, husband follows, new baby werewolf, dead wife in childbirth and Chris Casenove gets cleavered by the main man werewolf.
– Pissed off businessman sticks his knife five times into a voodoo doll as he’s angry at a partner who screwed him over. Unfortunately the picture of the man he wanted to curse also included four other people (including the business man and his wife). So for the next hour it’s death on toast: man falls off roof, man falls off horse onto combine harvester blades, woman slits her wrist open in the bath, business man’s wife goes through car window and then drowns in pond. The main man realises the inevitable, tries to burn the idol, but trips and falls in the fire himself, and that was the end of that.