Top positive review
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The best single performance in a horror film. By far.
on 14 September 2012
This film is, more or less, a video nasty. However, whilst neither a pleasant nor glossy production, the acting and script are generally good. The fact that this is an exploitation piece designed to produce as much offensive gore as the censor would allow does indeed leave a nasty taste in the mouth (and does credit to the poster), but this fault is rendered almost irrelevant by the outstanding performance of Sheila Keith as the lead character Dorothy Yates.
Almost entirely unknown outside of those interested in Pete Walker films (or those that have an intimate knowledge of the bit parts in Britsh sitcoms that she otherwise filled), Sheila Keith is an absolute revelation. She manages to convey the most terrifying screen presence as the apprently kind old lady Mrs.Yates, whose mood can turn on a sixpence to become a vindictive maniacal killer. The most chilling moments are not when she has the drill (these scenes are in fact wholly unnecessary) but when she performs tarot readings aside a cup of tea and a chintzy tablecloth. You may now ask yourself, "Can a performance really be so very chilling? From a 1970's cheapie?" The answer I can assure you is, "Yes."
Not by accident is Sheila Keith venerated by those few who have seen Pete Walker's films, not by accident was she chosen to reprise this role in the parody 'Dr.Terrible's House of Horrible': hers is indeed a remarkable performance. You will have to wade through some muddy colour and some gore to get to it, but don't count yourself as a horror film fan until you have.