Looking for a man to father a baby, callow children’s author Brenda Thompson (Rita Tushingham) moves to London, where she meets a charming chap (Shane Briant) she thinks is Mr. Right — only to discover that he’s a psychotic serial killer. Will Brenda pay the price for her naïveté? Director Peter Collinson’s suspenseful psychological thriller also stars James Bolam and Katya Wyeth as Brenda’s promiscuous flatmate.
Peter Collinson (1 April 1936 – 16 December 1980) was a British film director probably best known for directing the 1969 movie The Italian Job.
Peter Collinson was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire in 1936. His parents, an actress and a musician, separated when he was two years old; he was raised by his grandparents. From ages eight to 14 he attended the Actor’s Orphanage in Chertsey, Surrey where he had the chance to write and act in many plays. Noel Coward, who was president of the orphanage at the time, became his godfather and helped him to obtain jobs in the entertainment industry.
In 1954 he was called up for national service and served two years in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency.
His early television work included time as a floor manager for the BBC and directing for ATV at Elstree studios where he met Michael Klinger who would offer him the director role on his first film, The Penthouse. Collinson also worked with Telef… read more
Finishing off Halloween 31 For 31. One left to go after this. A link to a review here - http://mubi.com/lists/halloween-31-for-31-2013-world-championship-edition
Though I'm not terribly familiar yet with Hammer horror, this seems like an atypical entry in relation to the kind of period horror films they're most known for. And, in this case, that's a good thing. Both Rita Tushingham and Shane Briant carry it with their believable and complicated performances as two damaged people who are desperate (pathologically so) to make a connection with another human being. The first
scene between them in Briant's home, where he insists that she tell him the truth behind whey she'd come to his house, sets the tone for their character interactions after, and hints at how twisted the power dynamic between them will become. Later, when Tushingham returns home after a day of "beautifying"--in the hopes of increasing her physical appeal to Briant--it's a truly grotesque scene that plays out between them.
Collinson's aggressive editing in the first half of the film (cross-cutting, intercutting slivers of different scenes) is done to the point of disorientation, and gives way to a complicated use of sound recordings that become a kind of score for the ultimate unraveling that takes place.
Imitating the early style of Nicolas Roeg, Collinson hints at the psychological rifts in both characters through aggressive cross-cutting (creating juxtapositions and associations between scenes) and a jarring, disruptive soundtrack. These techniques all build to that bravura finale, in which a taped confession (presented as a disturbing aural collage) suggests the idea of the film itself as a twisted concoction of its own protagonist's Repulsion-like descent into madness.