Plot: What’s it about?
After eighteen years in a mental institution, Edmund and Dorothy Yates (Rupert Davies & Sheila Keith) have been declared sane and released back into the free world. This might seem like a cause of celebration, but since the two were locked for devious deeds, some danger could be involved. You see, the two were found guilty of murder and cannibalism, then locked away for eighteen years, only to be loosed back among the innocent folks. Now the husband and wife live in a secluded cabin, where their daughter Jackie (Deborah Fairfax) checks in on them from time to time. Things seem to be going as normal, but when Jackie’s boyfriend Graham (Paul Greenwood) starts to snoop around, he discovers the truth. The couple haven’t stopped their old ways in the least, as Dorothy lures victims to their home for tarot card sessions, then kills them with whatever she can find. What will finally bring an end to this murderous madness and more importantly, does this bloodlust run in the family?
How about that storyline, eh? I like insane folks that hack others to pieces in my horror flicks, so I ended up liking Frightmare a lot. I don’t think it is a horror classic by any means, but it has some terrific moments and is well worth a look, if you ask me. This film has an eerie atmosphere, some wacky characters, and of course, some terrific sequences of blood, all of which are elements you need in this genre. It also deals with some actual social messages like generation gaps, but don’t expect a life changing experience, ok? I like the idea of Image’s Euroshock Collection (which this disc is a part of), but the discs themselves haven’t been much to crow about, even if the movies are welcome titles. This one looks good and sounds decent enough, but with no supplements in the least, it makes for a harder recommendation. I found this to be a very cool flick with some great moments, but I just don’t think the price is justified in this case. Had a few extras been tacked on, I would have issued a recommendation, but as it stands, I think this one is best suited to be a rental.
This bleak, horrific film was directed by Pete Walker, who had more than his fair share of cool pictures in this genre. As I mentioned above, this movie has some elements of blood and gore, but the focus here is more on atmosphere and that pays off well, if you ask me. I think this is much bleaker and depressing than most horror movies, as it shoots to disturb you mentally, as opposed to cheap shocks and such. So if you’re looking for a gore loaded flick or a humorous horror movie, this one won’t be what you need. But if you like well developed atmosphere and some bizarre moments, then Frightmare would make for a wise choice. Other films directed by Walker include Die Screaming Marianne, School For Sex, The Flesh and Blood Show, House of Whipcord, Home Before Midnight, Schizo, and House of the Long Shadows.
Video: How does it look?
Frightmare is presented in a full frame transfer, which is an open matte of the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The print used shows some problems, but looks much cleaner than I expected, with minimal debris and damage present. The contrast is strong enough, but lacks the depth and detail I would have liked, given the dark nature of this picture. The colors seem solid also, with deep hues and less fading than I had expected. All in all, a good looking presentation all around, although I do wish this was a widescreen edition.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is decent also, but the age sometimes shows, as the track isn’t as refined as more modern ones. But that is to be expected to an extent, so I won’t knock the score too much as a result. I was able to take in all the elements I needed to, but I was aware of some hiss at times, as well as some harshness in a few places. This by no means ruins the experience, but it does force me to lower the score a shade, but not by much. The vocals seem very good though, all the dialogue is well presented and easy to understand. I do wish this was cleaner at times, but this is still a nice presentation in the end.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus features.