Frightmare (1974) review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by RyanPC, May 1, 2003.

  1. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I recently watched (for the second time) Pete Walker's Frightmare, a British thriller that is actually quite good. Image released this film bare bones for their Euroshock Collection, so let's take a look and see if it is worth recommending...


    The Plot

    I don't want to say too much about the plot, as it is best to go into this film not knowing what to expect. I would also recommend not reading the back of the DVD, as the synopsis gives away practically everything. All I will say is that this movie is about one's desire to kill and the lengths to which they will go to do so. If I give away any more, you probably won't enjoy it as much since there will be nothing to surprise you.
    Also, this is a very dark film, so don't expect a happy ending. :(

    I must say I was totally impressed with this film. The acting is top-notch, the story is wonderful, and there are plenty of shocks and gore (although there is not as much gore as they would lead you to think). Very interesting film, it didn't leave me bored for a second. British films usually aren't my cup of tea, but this one was very effective. I highly recommend this film, it is very well done.

    Rating: 4/5


    Video Quality

    Frightmare is presented full-frame, which is a bit of a disappointment. But it's not all bad... for full screen, the picture is quite good-- much better than a VHS. The colors are bright and stand out quite nicely, although not as well as they should. There is quite a bit of scratches and some grain throughout, but nothing too distracting. Again, the image quality could be better, but I am sure this is the best Frightmare has ever looked.

    Rating: 3/5


    Sound Quality

    The film is presented in Dolby Digital Mono, and leaves a lot to be desired. There isn't much to say here, since Mono is Mono. The spoken word was clear and I didn't detect any distortment of any kind.

    Rating: 3/5


    Special Features

    This is where the disc is totally lacking, as extras are non-existant. It doesn't even have a real menu... it does, but the only thing on it is scene selection, which doesn't even count as an extra. Very disappointing; the least they could have done was included a theatrical trailer.

    Rating: 0/5


    Overall

    Overall, this disc really isn't recommendable. The picture and sound aren't that good, although the film is quite well done. There are no extras, which is a shame. I can only recommend this DVD unless you are a fan of the film... otherwise, casual viewers might want to wait for a better edition of the film, if one ever comes out.

    Overall: 2.5/5
     
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I got it but haven't watched it yet. As long as the movie's good, I don't care, as it was only $7.50.
     
  3. Atmims

    Atmims Guest

    Same here, I've had this DVD for a couple months but haven't watched it yet. I will definetly check it out this weekend.
    Thanks for the review!
     
  4. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    $7.50!!! Man, I got mine when it was expensive! $22 at Amazon. I've wised up and don't shop there for DVDs anymore.
     
  5. Rock

    Rock Member

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    Ryan, I give FRIGHTMARE a solid 3....Sheila Keith and Rupert Davies are absolutely terrifying as the parents and the downbeat ending was (and still is) a real shocker...us Americans should pay closer attention to the British and how they go about scaring their audiences, even in an oldie but goodie like this one...
     
  6. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    True... the British have given us some great ones! I also thought ASYLUM was pretty creepy but not the best.

    Or as on the back of the box for FRIGHTMARE, very 'creepie'! :D
     
  7. Rock

    Rock Member

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    RyanPC, you seen any other Pete Walker films? They are hard to find...I've seen FRIGHTMARE, THE FLESH & BLOOD SHOW, SCHIZO, and part of THE COMEBACK...
     
  8. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I heard of Schizo and actually had to chance to rent it one time, but passed it up. It does sound good, though.
     
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Yeah how is SCHIZO? What's it about? I've always been interested in that.
     
  10. Deaddevilman

    Deaddevilman Guest

    I have always liked this one. Although I would prefer a widescreen version, I don't have to much of a problem with the full screen, I just hit the panorama button and enjoy.
     
  11. Atmims

    Atmims Guest

    I watched this movies last night. I thought it was pretty cool, me and my brother both enjoyed it. Definetly better than I expected.
     
  12. cread

    cread Guest

    Those with PAL capability may be interested to know that a remastered, better looking version of Frightmare (and House of Whipcord) are availible from salvation (http://www.salvation-films.ltd.uk/index2.html), with trailer and posters (etc.) as extras. They are presented 'open matte' revealing far more picture information then had they been cropped into widescreen.
     
  13. maringo

    maringo Guest

    Salvation were recently selling copies of Frightmare cheap to mailing list members, so they may not have any stock of that DVD left.
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    What's the advantage of those being open matte when this is too? I find it funny that when a disc is fullscreen it's often bashed for "not being in the correct ratio" or some such business, but at the same time if one is announced as fullscreen it "reveals more exciting picture information!" Just kinda makes me laugh, a double-edged sword I guess.

    Just watched the flick and while it was very British, I quite liked it. Some good scenes throughout, and it played out like a choice cut from Masterpiece Theater ;). Worth what I spent though, most definitely.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2003
  15. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    I'm surprised this one isn't mentioned more on this site.

    Often described as a British take on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Frightmare left me feeling slightly disappointed on my initial viewing when I git the Shriek Show disc nearly a decade ago. I guess I was expecting the panic-inducing experience of Tobe Hooper's movie, but what Pete Walker does instead is unsettle and provoke. Expect no extended chase scenes. There is gore, but it is as much implied as shown, such as when Sheila Keith takes a drill to the skull of a victim. Whether the reasons are budgetary or artistic, we don't see the destruction, only Keith's face as the blood splatter's on her, and it's fantastic. Keith, you see, plays a supposedly rehabilitated cannibal who can't control her appetite.

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, it is a star vehicle for Sheila Keith, and her line delivery is impeccable. Simply delicious. She is at turns vulnerable, menacing, and strangely charming.

    This is one of those for me where the second viewing relegated it from so-so to sudden favourite.

    Any other fans?

    Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t2CHzQaq6Q
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  16. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I'm still new to the films of Pete Walker. I liked Frightmare, LOVED House of Whipcord, but wasn't impressed by The Flesh and Blood Show. Schizo and The Comeback are next when I can find copies of them. Also looking to get Whipcord on Blu. I saw the old DVD, and it was pretty craptacular.
     
  17. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    I'm interested in House of Whipcord, but I'm not quite sure what to expect of it. Is it kinda like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS?

    The Comeback is perhaps the closest Walker ever came to making a true slasher, btw.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  18. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I haven't seen any Ilsa films, but it's closer to the "women in prison" genre than the Nazploitation genre. But as I said in my Halloween top 10 list, it's probably the first women in prison film that I've seen that really qualifies as horror, because the nature of the prison makes it impossible for anyone to ever be released for time served or good behavior. All the inmates will eventually be executed for one reason or another.
     
  19. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    She Wolf is very much a women in prison film, I'd say (or rather, women in a concentration camp). It's also pretty horrific, but also uneven in tone, playing like a dirty joke peppered with extreme sadism.

    Obviously, She Wolf has the oversexed Dyanne Thorne, whereas House of Whipcord has Sheila Keith, who so impressed Walker that she went on to star in four more of his movies (with her performance in Frightmare no doubt being the most iconic).
     
  20. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I really like this one too. They do a good job at getting you really invested in the main characters that when the ending comes around it hurts all the more, even if it is ambiguous.
     

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