Rent Frightmare (1974)

3.3 of 5 from 54 ratings
1h 23min
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English psycho mother (Sheila Keith) and her equally loony daughter get seriously into cranial DIY in this seventies precursor to The Driller Killer. Shown here in a stunning new print.
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Voiced By:
Pete Walker
David McGillivray, Pete Walker
Salvation Films
British Films, Horror
Release Date:
Run Time:
83 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
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Reviews (1) of Frightmare

Spoilers ... - Frightmare review by NP

Spoiler Alert

“It’s such fun being night people, isn’t it?” Sheila Keith, one of Director Pete Walker’s repertory stalwarts, asks at one point. Here, she plays Dorothy Yates, recently released from an asylum after displaying violent cannibalistic preferences, now completely cured. A quick look at the gleam in her eye and it is clear such a prognosis was … optimistic, to say the least.

Sheila Keith has been underrated, despite her numerous appearances in Walker’s films, and she is never better than here (at least not in the films I have seen her in thus far), and she is given material she can really, if you will, sink her teeth into. Her long-suffering brother, also committed, is played by Rupert Davies in one of his last films. Edmund Yates is guilty only of covering up his sister’s actions. Her brand of insanity attracts a certain loyalty. Imagine if she had other relatives?

Of course, she does. The wayward Debbie, whose dewy-eyed innocent look belies her murderous nature, and Jackie, who secretly visits Edmund and Dorothy late night.

This is my favourite of the films directed by Pete Walker so far (I’m not watching them chronologically). It has a central theme that doesn’t meander, features well-written parts for all cast members, and every part is very well played. It has the crisp starkness of a low-budget UK thriller and is directed very much in the style of television series at that time. It’s really a showcase for Keith’s magnificent, towering performance. Yet she’s supported by a fine cast (including cameos from Andrew Sachs, Leo Genn and Gerald Flood), and the proceedings are given a pleasingly open-ended climax.

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