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In the Devil's Garden (I) (1971)
"Assault" (original title)

R  |   |  Mystery, Crime, Drama  |  19 May 1973 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 274 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 11 critic

After one schoolgirl is raped while taking a short cut through the local woods, and another is murdered in the same woods a few days later, the local police are baffled. With the help of a ... See full summary »

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Title: In the Devil's Garden (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzy Kendall ...
Julie West
...
Det. Chief Supt. Velyan
...
Reporter
James Laurenson ...
Greg Lomax
...
Tessa Hurst
Tony Beckley ...
Leslie Sanford
Anthony Ainley ...
Mr. Bartell
Dilys Hamlett ...
Mrs. Sanford
...
Det. Sgt. Beale
Patrick Jordan ...
Sgt. Milton
Allan Cuthbertson ...
Coroner
Anabel Littledale ...
Susan Miller
Tom Chatto ...
Police Doctor
Kit Taylor ...
Doctor
Jan Butlin ...
Day Receptionist
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Storyline

After one schoolgirl is raped while taking a short cut through the local woods, and another is murdered in the same woods a few days later, the local police are baffled. With the help of a reporter from one of the local papers, and against the wishes of a psychologist at the local hospital, a young teacher at the school the girls attended uses herself as bait to lure the perpetrator out. Could it be the creepy husband of the head mistress at the school, the psychologist who seems to be taking an unusual interest in the case, or something altogether more sinister? Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you go down in the woods today... See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Crime | Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Devil's Garden  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Tessa leaves school, she is wearing her knee socks. However, when she is attacked she is wearing nylons. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting British attempt at making a Giallo
28 June 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Assault is apparently a British attempt at emulating the popular Italian Giallo sub-genre. If that is indeed what the filmmakers were aiming for, it has to be said that they've done a rather good job, as Assault incorporates many of the common Giallo trademarks. We've got a killer on the loose, a number of victims, a police investigation, an eyewitness, lots of red herrings and an unknown assailant, among other things. I'd even go as far as to say that if I didn't know better, I might have thought this was an Italian production, set in the UK. It's unfortunate, then, that director Sidney Hayers wasn't able to take the script and craft an exciting mystery out of it, as the film features far too much talking and not enough action, leaving it caught up in boredom for most of the running time. The plot follows the murder of a young girl in the woods outside of her school. When another is found dead in the same way shortly after, the police are brought in. Their only witness is a young teacher, who says the killer looks like the devil and puts herself on the line to catch the psychopath.

One common element of the Italian Giallo is a silly plot, and that has been copied for this film also. The idea regarding the capture of the killer is preposterous, and the murderer would have to be a complete and utter fool to fall for it. The film doesn't seem too keen on keeping itself away from complete farce either, as the climax is very silly and it's often hard to keep a straight face while watching the film unfold, and that's not what you want from a thriller that handles themes of murder and rape. The cast is distinctly British, and Derbyshire-born Giallo star Suzy Kendall, who has also worked with the likes of Dario Argento, Sergio Martino and Umberto Lenzi on Giallo thrillers, takes the lead role and is joined by a host of tea-drinking co-stars. Sidney Hayers' direction is a little turgid at times, although scenes such as the one in which we get an early glimpse of the murderer are well shot. The conclusion to the mystery is disappointing, as the identity of the killer just sort of comes out of nowhere. Overall, this film isn't all that good; but it may appeal to Giallo fans for the fact that it's a Giallo, but it's not Italian.


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