A deranged horror from British director Pete Walker in which a group of young actors are lured to an abandoned seaside theatre at the end of a pier with the offer of work. Mike (Ray Brooks), Julia (Jenny Hanley) and Simon (Robin Askwith) travel to the seaside town of Eastcliff to meet the rest of the cast and producer in order to rehearse their play before taking it to the West End. But in the style of Ten Little Indians, the cast begins to mysteriously vanish one by one, prompting the survivors to investigate the mysterious theatre company which has brought them together and the derelict theatre's unsavoury past.
- The Flesh and Blood Show review by NP
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You rated this film: 3
This reminds me of a slimmed down version of the mighty Vincent Price vehicle ‘Theatre of Blood’, which was released the year after this. Filmed for the most part in the Pavilion Theatre in Cromer, this involves a group of unemployed young actors who are invited to an abandoned theatre by the sea to perform a play, where one by one, they get brutally murdered. The location proves to be an excellent horror venue. Cut off from reality to certain degree, it becomes a world within a world wherein literally anything can happen.
Ray Brooks is the head of the young actors group and he provides a reassuring lead as much around him falls apart. The occasional showing of the police doesn’t seem to improve the situation, and only the friendly local Major Bell (encountered in a local café, which provides a brief yet strangely sinister respite for the troupe) seems to provide a reassuring outside presence.
Jenny Hanley, whose identity is somewhat enigmatic by the close, plays posh Julia Dawson. Unlike her appearance in ‘Scars of Dracula’, she is allowed to use her own, un-dubbed voice – which is fine. Quite why the producers of the 1970 Hammer picture insisted she be dubbed by another actress is a mystery – and to her also, according to interviews. Hanley is also subject to clearly having a body double for revealing close-ups. I wonder how she felt about that?
This is one of Director Pete Walker’s better films. Not quite on a par with ‘Frightmare’ a couple of years later, but coasts along at a good pace, and punctuates the uneasy atmosphere with occasional scenes of gore. The climactic moments were apparently shown in 3D on the film’s initial cinematic release.