The Flesh and Blood Show (1972) Poster

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Brilliant proto-slasher English giallo
Nick Duguay5 March 2017
This is really quite a pleasure if you happen to be a fan of giallo and slashers- though really more the former than the latter. The Flesh and Blood Show is an excellent film that far preceded the American slasher craze, and even just barely the giallo films of Italy. This film was made in England in 1972, and while it seems quite a rudimentary slasher in this day and age, at that time it was really quite innovative. Along with A Bay of Blood, this may have jumpstarted the slasher craze that began with Halloween and Friday the 13th (not to mention The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), but really had it's roots with early exploitation films like this. The Flesh and Blood Show has tons of atmosphere and a fairly engaging story, but rather skimps on the blood. Most of the murders take place off scene and the ending really begs for more but overall I really enjoyed this.
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Proto-slasher from Peter Walker has an atmospheric setting
Leofwine_draca11 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This murky offering from infamous British horror director Pete Walker isn't really a bad film, it's just not great. The first half of the movie is by far the weakest of the two, a slow-paced bit of to-ing and fro-ing which is so poorly-lit that you actually have to sit about two inches away from your television screen with the brightness turned up to full to make out anything that's going on. The straightforward plot is that of a slasher movie, although bear in mind that this film was released about six years before the slasher film boom so any similarities are purely coincidental. Walker livens up the fairly dismal proceedings with lashings of gratuitous nudity from most of the well-proportioned female cast members as one would expect from a director who previously made THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF GRETA; indeed the film's opening sequence sees an appealing blonde-haired girl answering the door to her house in the nude! Quite why she would do this is anyone's guess...

For a while it's fun to play spot the familiar face, the cast being full of fresh-faced young actors and actresses mainly notable for their television roles in the '70s. Ray Brooks (the voice of Mr Benn) is the would-be producer of the group. Jenny Hanley (SCARS OF Dracula) is a "proper" actress who comes looking for a bit of stage work and finds only death and mystery, whilst Luan Peters, Candace Glendenning, Judy Matheson, and Penny Meredith fill out the rest of the performers who seemingly spend more time in bed with male cast members and technicians than actually rehearsing. Finally, there's David Howey as John, the bleedingly obvious red herring, and cheeky chappie Robin Askwith who gets some ripe dialogue in what amounts to a rather minor part. Patrick Barr is simply excellent in his part as Major Bell, a retired war veteran who lives alone with his dog and gets excited about the prospect of a theatre group inhabiting the long-abandoned pier.

Although Walker is heavy on the nudity, gore fans should seek their dirty thrills elsewhere as what (very) minor gore there is on offer here is almost completely obscured by darkness. Not that the film needs it, mind you: weird characters, bizarre actions, and a mildly creepy atmosphere propel this one along nicely until a fairly major plot revelation about an hour in. Then, surprisingly, things pick up towards the end, incorporating an excellent black-and-white flashback sequence (originally 3D) which plays as a nice little mini-film in itself, and a clever, well-acted finale which shares more than a few similarities with the following year's THEATRE OF BLOOD.

My only complaint with THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW is that Walker should have worked harder to make the final revelation a little bit more surprising as some of it is easy to guess. The film isn't really scary (but then, not many British horror films are, to be honest) and is far from the disturbing, graphic masterpieces like FRIGHTMARE that Walker became famous for later on in his career. But as a somewhat enjoyable, mildly effective proto-slasher yarn with an appealing cast, it deserves a look.
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By the sea, no-one can hear you scream ...
Nigel P18 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This reminds me of a slimmed down version of the mighty Vincent Price vehicle 'Theatre of Blood', which was released the year after this. Filmed for the most part in the Pavilion Theatre in Cromer, this involves a group of unemployed young actors who are invited to an abandoned theatre by the sea to perform a play, where one by one, they get brutally murdered. The location proves to be an excellent horror venue. Cut off from reality to certain degree, it becomes a world within a world wherein literally anything can happen.

Ray Brooks is the head of the young actors group and he provides a reassuring lead as much around him falls apart. The occasional showing of the police doesn't seem to improve the situation, and only the friendly local Major Bell (encountered in a local café, which provides a brief yet strangely sinister respite for the troupe) seems to provide a reassuring outside presence.

Jenny Hanley, whose identity is somewhat enigmatic by the close, plays posh Julia Dawson. Unlike her appearance in 'Scars of Dracula', she is allowed to use her own, un-dubbed voice – which is fine. Quite why the producers of the 1970 Hammer picture insisted she be dubbed by another actress is a mystery – and to her also, according to interviews. Hanley is also subject to clearly having a body double for revealing close-ups. I wonder how she felt about that? This is one of Director Pete Walker's better films. Not quite on a par with 'Frightmare' a couple of years later, but coasts along at a good pace, and punctuates the uneasy atmosphere with occasional scenes of gore. The climactic moments were apparently shown in 3D on the film's initial cinematic release.
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Boobs, Butts and Blood - All Suffering Pier Pressure!
Spikeopath10 October 2014
Pete Walker brings us a proto-slasher that's now as cornball as can be. Is it worthy of respect in the pantheon of horror? Yes, maybe.

This is a coastal town that they forgot to close down.

A group of actors and actresses have mysteriously been lured to an end of pier theatre to star in a play. Pretty soon they start being bumped off one by one.

So it be! There's plenty of nudity, actors siting around musing on the "biz" and its perils, while the matter of fact attitude to the disappearances is almost as ludicrous as someone opening the door in the middle of the night stark naked...

It's good fun in truth, especially for British film fans like me to see the likes of Robin Askwith and Jenny Hanley in this. The run down theatre setting is a good one, while the play they are rehearsing makes no sense and is quite surreal! 5/10
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Plenty Of Flesh not enough blood
acidburn-1010 November 2013
"The Flesh and Blood Show" is about a bunch of young actors all willing to take part in a stage theatre that's situated in a small ocean town, and soon as they arrive strange things start to happen and people start disappearing and surprise, surprise they are being watched by an unknown strange figure.

To be honest when I came across this movie, I actually got it confused with "Blood and Black Lace" (which I still haven't seen), and being a keen fan of early slasher movies and especially British slasher movies, I was willing to give this one a go. To be honest I was kind of disappointed, for a start there is frankly not enough blood or horror or tension to fulfil any basic needs and there are too many false scares and could have done with a higher body count.

But there are some good points to this movie, including the night-times attack on one of the women, was nicely done and quite nerve racking and the whodunit angle was nicely done along with the lengthy explanation at the end was a nice touch.

All in all not a terrible entry but doesn't quite keep the viewer interested all the way through, but still better than half the crap that comes out these days.
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It's OK, nothing special though.
Paul Andrews8 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Flesh and Blood Show is set in England where a group of young & aspiring actor's are hired by a production company to rehearse & perform a play which they intend to open in London, the company send all the actor's to a small seaside town where an old abandoned theatre sits on the end of a pier. It's in this old theatre that the actor's will get to know each other & rehearse the play, Mike (Ray Brooks) is acting producer & it's his job to organise everything. Once all the cast have arrived they decide to live in the theatre will rehearsing, the first while while they are trying to sleep a loud screams wakes everyone up & they soon discover that that one of their number is missing & set out to look for her. Mike thinks he finds her decapitated head but after returning with local police it has vanished, puzzled Mike has to forget it but other member's of the cast also disappear as the theatre's terrible past comes back to haunt the present...

This British & American co-production was produced & directed by Pete Walker & was his first attempt at horror, I have to say that The Flesh and Blood Show is a rather standard murder mystery horror with added nudity. While there's a fair bit of naked flesh on show there's not much blood on offer, at over 90 minutes The Flesh and Blood Show is a fairly dull film that hasn't aged well either. The murder mystery aspect is pretty poor, there's no great surprise as to who the killer is & there's meant to be a double twist at the end but the film just sort of finishes before the script has a chance to do anything with it. The kills are forgettable & I am not sure what that opening sequence of blood dripping down wooden supports & into the sea has to do with anything, the character's are all sex crazed teens who enjoy playing annoying jokes on each other which provide lots of those tiresome 'fake' scare scenes where something initially threatening turns out to be a practical joke. The revelation of the killer at the end is pretty dull & his motives for murder are weak, he goes a little bit crazy as well quoting all sorts of classic lines from various plays that sound out of place here & only slow things down even more. Overall The Flesh and Blood Show is an unsatisfying murder mystery that doesn't deliver on the mystery or the slasher aspects of the story, while not the worst example of it's kind I can't say I would ever want to see it again.

The Flesh and Blood Show definitely has the 70's feel to it, lots of old looking buildings with lots of dark corridors for people to endlessly walk down although the fashions don't fare so well with some hideous outfits including tight fitting canary yellow trousers. There's a fair amount of nudity here with virtually every female member of the cast going topless at least once while the gore is tame with only a severed head & a bit of blood splatter on show. The film has a decent atmosphere & looks alright but I doubt I will remember anything about it in a week. Origianlly shot partially in 3-D, the flashback sequence at the end was originally shown in 3-D but was simply black and white for most home video releases.

Filmed on location in Cromer in Norfolk here in England, written by Alfred Shaughnessy who went on to be script editor on British sitcom Upstairs, Downstairs (1971-1975). The acting is OK but nothing special here, Robin Askwith appeared in a number of British horror & sex films during the 70's while Ray Brooks narrated both Mr. Benn (1971) & King Rollo (1980) & was more recently in Eastenders.

The Flesh and Blood Show is a pretty forgettable murder mystery horror film that looks alright & isn't terrible but just isn't great either. Not much of a mystery to solve, not much gore to get excited about & a rather slow pace at times means The Flesh and Blood Show is a minor entry in British horror.
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Nifty debut horror movie by Pete Walker
Woodyanders18 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Pete Walker's first foray into the fright film genre prefigures the slasher cycle by a good five years and manages to wring a good deal of tension and spooky atmosphere from its novel and inspired setting of a decrepit abandoned old stage theater located on a remote pier on the British coast. The story is rather familiar stuff, but still tight and involving: A bunch of eager and good-looking young thespians join a mysterious repertory company and get together to rehearse a play at the old theater. Naturally, there's also a creepy and vicious heavy-breathing maniac loose in the place. Walker and writer Alfred Shoughnessy relate the engrossing story at a steady pace, present a gaggle of well-drawn and likable main characters, and do an able job of creating and maintaining an eerie and enigmatic mood. The attractive and appealing cast rates as another substantial asset, with especially stand-out work by Ray Brooks as fair and easygoing stage director Mike, Jenny Hanley as lovely and ambitious rising starlet Julia Dawson, Luan Peters as the sultry Carol, Robin Askwith as the affable Simon, Tristan Rogers as dashing hunk Tony Weller, and David Howey as impish practical joker John. Veteran actor Patrick Barr has a field day with his juicy supporting part as dotty and charming local eccentric Major Bell. The killer's motive for committing the murders turns out to be unexpectedly poignant and tragic. While this picture skimps on the gore and has a minimal body count, this is more than compensated for by a pleasing plenitude of tasty bare female skin and the clever and surprising conclusion that comes complete with a cool protracted flashback sequence shot in stark black and white. Peter Jessop's bleak cinematography and Cyril Ornadel's ominous score add greatly to the overall macabre entertainment value of this enjoyable little shocker.
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Nifty enough seaside shocker: Walker's crimson period starts here
Tom May16 May 2010
"The Flesh and Blood Show" bookends Pete Walker's 'golden period' of horrors, with "Schizo" (1976) at the other end; it is a gruesome piece of film-making that shows improvements in Walker's work from "Die Screaming, Marianne" - and yet he is still limbering up, in truth.

Patrick Barr - to be used again by PW - is excellent here, playing 'the Major', the first in a line of Walker protagonists who appear to be harmless English eccentrics, but are actually... well, that would be telling! The youth characters may be rather stereotyped, but that is part of Walker's approach: to set a licentious, permissive youth against a resentful and uncompromisingly vengeful older generation. It is much to Walker's credit that few if any characters could be described as typical heroes. And he doesn't take sides; the photography indeed mimics the voyeur's view at times - implicating the audience, using the trick first deployed by Michael Powell in "Peeping Tom" (1960).

The out-of-season seaside setting - Cromer, apparently - fits aptly into this dialectic. The troupe of young actors' arrival seemingly doubles the ageing population of the resort, who can seemingly only dream of the past. It can even be argued that there are pre-echoes of Alan Bennett's use of Morecambe in "Sunset Across the Bay" (BBC, 1975) - though of course, lacking quite the same sad humour and dry insight.

Still, it is an serviceable enough shocker. Not as bizarrely gripping as Walker's subsequent Melodramas of Discontent, but a decisive step in that direction. And with a script by Alfred Shaughnessy (one of the prime wits behind LWT's "Upstairs, Downstairs") and a suitably eerie score from Cyril Ornadel (who composed all of the music for ATV's seminal "Sapphire and Steel"). Oh, and Robin Askwith... who is enjoyably absurd in horror films (see also the ludicrous "Horror Hospital" from the following year), where he is rather more horrific in myriad dire sex comedies to come.
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Gotta love abandoned theaters!
udar5523 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Hired by a mysterious backer, a small British theater troupe head to an old theater on a seaside pier to work out their improv show. They all decide to shack up in the theater and, on the very first night, encounter a killer determined to brutally off them one by one. Of course, when you realize Robin Askwith is one of the group, you might start siding with the killer. I am a sucker for horror films set in empty theaters and this one really does it right. There isn't much mystery here, but director Pete Walker stages some nice stalking scenes (with killer POV before BLACK Christmas) and the cast definitely delivers in the flesh department. One thing I loved is a supposed plot hole where the killer couldn't have possibly attacked one girl. You think it is inept film-making, but Walker has gotten the better of me and it serves for a nice final twist.

This is my third Pete Walker film (FRIGHTMARE and SCHIZO being the other two) and I have to wonder if Walker hated old folks. Alongside FRIGHTMARE, this features an elderly person revealed to be the killer in the end. That's it, I officially declare Walker to be an ageist! Anyway, an enjoyable little British slasher. The cast is good and the film benefits greatly from an amazing location. Totally for abandoned theater film lovers!
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The Flesh and Blood Show
Scarecrow-8823 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A group of young thespians converge together to rehearse for a potential play only to discover that the one who gathered them has other plans. Soon members of the group are being attacked by a mysterious figure who seems to be familiar with the old, vacant Dome theater, abandoned for quite a long spell, located near a seashore.

Plenty of nudity highlights this okay little thriller, which is relatively tame in regards to violence(..none of the attacks take place on screen)unlike what you might expect entering into it. For a large portion of the film features various couplings and lots of undressing.

A major plot development(..concerning a former theatrical star whose family come up missing after he discovers his actress wife with her co-star in the throes of passion), answers the question as to why this group has been brought to the site, and this history is linked to the Dome theater itself. A particular event(..the discovery of the skeletal remains of two people also contributes to this) fuels everything taking place.

I'm pretty sure slasher fans will be rather disappointed, although the giallo audience might like it. Walker's THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW is more concerned with story than violence, although the frequent nudity is perhaps a draw due to how lovely the actresses are in the buff. The script keenly observes the behaviors of thespians on stage and how they respond to each other.

Sordid shenanigans by the characters actually lends itself to what motivates the killer. The carnality aspect which re-awakens bad memories of a certain occurrence which left an actor a devastated emotional wreck, unable to escape the past that haunts him. Slow-moving pace, but a great setting within a darkened theater which is a perfect place for a psycho to move about and hide in the shadows.
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THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW (Pete Walker, 1972) **1/2
MARIO GAUCI19 October 2008
Walker's first horror film is an intriguing and enjoyable mix of sex and chills set in an abandoned theater; interestingly, in the accompanying interview on the DVD, he states that the nudity was deemed obligatory at the time if the picture was to hope for a distribution deal (particularly since Walker was his own financier).

The plot starts off by having eight out-of-work actors being convened to the aforementioned remote location by a mysterious employer; though they occasionally indulge in the kind of silly yet pretentious improvisational exercise also at the core of Jacques Rivette's insanely-long (13 hours!) OUT ONE: NOLI ME TANGERE (1971), they're often just interested in getting laid and the girls in particularly act like sluts most of the time!! At first, I was annoyed by this apparent laziness in scripting (by Alfred Shaughnessy, a respected if little-known director in his own right) – but, then, it's revealed that this was the reason these young and 'morally corrupt' folk were called upon to begin with (as the continuation of a notorious incident from the wartime era which had actually caused the theater's closure).

The male members of the cast are effectively enough led by Ray Brooks (from Richard Lester's Swinging London comedy THE KNACK [1965]) and also include Robin Askwith (soon to rise to dubious prominence with the smutty "Confessions" films) and veteran Patrick Barr (who turns in a bravura performance, particularly once his true identity is exposed). As for the girls, they all look great in and out of clothes – particularly Jenny Hanley (who, interestingly, discovers to have an inextricable link of her own with the gloomy theater) and Luan Peters (who escapes the murderer{s}' clutches the first time but not the second).

The film attempts a reasonable imitation throughout of the Italian Giallo style (that country, then, paid it the compliment by borrowing its single setting for Lamberto Bava's popular but third-rate DEMONS [1985]) – though it culminates with a rather unnecessary 3-D gimmick (which Walker had already utilized in the lackluster "Rashomon"-type sex comedy THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF GRETA [1972]). For the record, of the director's horror outings, I've yet to get my hands on SCHIZO (1976) and HOME BEFORE MIDNIGHT (1979)…
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The Title is Half Right
BloodTheTelepathicDog9 October 2008
I must say, I enjoyed this film. I have a soft spot for Gothic horror films from Britian, the legendary giallos and American drive-in flicks, so this appealed to me. However, the title would have you believe this to be in the vein of Re-Animator or Tower of Evil, but it really isn't. There are a handful of murders but all take place off screen. That appeals to me - since I'm not much of a gorehound, but with a title like this, you'd expect to see some blood and on screen murders.

The plot centers on a group of struggling actors getting lured to an abandoned theater to rehearse for a play. Ray Brooks plays the director and gets something he didn't bargain for when he finds one of his actress' heads placed on a ledge. John, the practical joker of the film, thinks Brooks is pulling a fast one, but the police are called out. While Brooks went off to fetch the fuzz, the killer disposes of the actress' corpse and replaces it with a mannequin. The cops are less than amused and label the actors as troublemakers. Later, Luan Peters is attacked but Ray Brooks opts not to inform the police right-away since he knows they won't believe him. So he looks into the deviant undertakings on his own, with the help of actress Jenny Hanley. They realize that their abandoned theater may not be as abandoned as they were led to believe.

STORY: $$$ (I'm a sucker for the isolation theme in horror films - put a group of people in an isolated setting and I'm sold. Theatre folk might like this, but then again, it has a sort of anti-theater theme going for it. The screenplay is written well but the characters aren't fleshed out (at least regarding their backgrounds) to the degree I'd like. At the beginning, Luan Peters and Judy Matheson are in bed together at Luan's residence, but when they venture off to the theater, Luan shacks up with Australian stud Tony. Judy wasn't too concerned, so I guess they really didn't have a lesbian relationship).

VIOLENCE: $$ (There is some violence, but there isn't any gore, so don't let the title mislead you. Granted, an actress gets decapitated, but it is off screen. Luan Peters is attacked at night and this scene is graphically done, but it wasn't a murder, so there isn't any fake blood tossed around).

ACTING: $$$ (David Howey, who played the joker John, seems to do the best job here but he gets ample support from Ray Brooks as the director, Luan Peters as the sexpot and Jenny Hanley as the theater natural. The old fellow who plays Major Bell was very good as was Candace Glendenning in her cameo. Robin Askwith fans need not apply - he is the most underdeveloped actor in the group).

NUDITY: $$$$$ (You won't be letdown here. Luan Peters seems to relish the moments she is topless on screen, which is quite often at the beginning. Jane Cardew and her man are fully nude back stage while Judy Matheson gets undressed and Major Bell ogles Candace Glendenning while she changes. Needless to say, the Flesh from the title was there but the blood was wanting).
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Early slasher fun from Pete Walker.
BA_Harrison28 December 2007
In Pete Walker's enjoyably trashy The Flesh and Blood Show, a group of young actors, preparing for a show in a ramshackle theatre at the end of a pier, become the target of a maniac with a hatred of decadent thespian types. With little in the way of gore, but loads of nudity by way of recompense, this kitschy take on the old 'Ten Little Indians' story (by Agatha Christie) is great fun for those who love 70s UK horror.

The film opens with budding actresses Carol (busty Luan Peters) and Jane (sexy Judy Matheson) being awakened in the middle of the night by a knocking at their door. With Carol leaping starkers from her bed (which she shares with her flatmate!) to see who it is, it becomes clear that Walker hasn't completely forgotten his sex/comedy roots—after all, how many girls do you know that would be happy to open their front door in the nude?

Anyway, the caller turns out to be a practical joker named Tony (he staggers through the door pretending that he has been stabbed), with whom Carol has recently worked on a horror film. No acceptable explanation is given for his unusual arrival at the girls' flat, but after some brief chit-chat, it transpires that both he and the two women have been given a job in a new show. They are to travel to the seaside town of Eastcliff where they will meet the rest of the cast (which includes 'Confessions' star Robin Askwith, and Jenny Hanley, presenter of kids' TV show Magpie) and the producer, Mike (Ray Brooks), to begin rehearsals.

Of course, it's not long after their arrival at the spooky old theatre that the troupe's number starts to dwindle, as the mysterious killer sets to work.

The Flesh and Blood Show might not be as shocking as some of Walker's later efforts, and is certainly not as gruesome, but with every pretty female in some state of undress during the film, a truly hilarious finalé featuring a Shakepeare quoting lunatic, and even a sequence shot in 3D, it is still a film worth seeking out.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.
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The Flesh and a lack of Blood show!
The_Void15 February 2007
To me, Pete Walker is most famous for mature horror works such as House of Whipcord and House of Mortal Sin, but apparently he used to direct silly sex flicks and this was the film that was the stepping stone between those and the horror that he would go on to direct. The Flesh and Blood Show is a slasher at heart; but it deserves more respect than the average slasher flick because it came out before the big 'boom' in the eighties, and is therefore a precursor to the genre. As such, the film doesn't feature many of the over-used clichés of the genre - but I was disappointed as while Walker doesn't hold back with the nudity, he does with the blood - and that's not good in a film called 'The Flesh AND Blood Show'. Anyway, the plot focuses on a troupe of actors and a director that decide to go to an old abandoned theatre in a quiet town to rehearse their play and (hopefully) become big names on the London circuit. However, soon enough members of the troupe begin to vanish one by one, prompting an investigation into the theatre's unsavoury history.

Aside from Walker regular Patrick Barr, this film featured two recognisable actors for me, one for his looks and the other for the sound of his voice! Robin Askwith I recognised immediately as the star of the superb Michael Gough trash flick 'Horror Hospital', while Ray Brooks' voice sounded familiar. It didn't take me long to figure out that he sounded like the 'Joe' from Eastenders, and after looking on here - it's the same guy! The female stars I didn't recognise, despite the fact that most of them had appeared in various Hammer films; but they do their job well - that job being providing eye candy! I'm guessing that Pete Walker hadn't met Sheila Keith when The Flesh and Blood Show was made. The old theatre provides a good location for the horror; its ominous rooms and corridors help Walker to create the much needed atmosphere. The film does have a lot of good points; but unfortunately for me it all comes down to the lack of blood, and the fact that it's not always interesting. The ending didn't inspire me much either, although it's not the worst I've seen from a slasher flick.
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Maximum flesh & minimum blood, but a decent show overall.
Coventry24 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Pete Walker was one of the most remarkable directors in the British horror industry and most of his efforts (especially those of the mid-70's period) ought to be considered as quintessential viewing for genre admirers. Even this forgotten and sadly obscure gem, which obviously suffers from terribly poor production values, is actually a very important horror film for two specific reasons. First of all, "The Flesh and Blood Show" represents Pete Walker's transition from banal sex comedies into mature and rudimentary horror. "Die Screaming Marianne", released one year before, already contained some admirable horror aspects, but Walker only managed to truly capture the horrific themes of murder and insanity in this film. The second and even more important reason to establish the essence of this film is that it's actually a pioneer of slasher-movies! Alongside Mario Bava's "Bay of Blood" and perhaps a few notable other titles, "The Flesh and Blood Show" was one of the first film to introduce a maniacal killer amidst a group of defenseless victims. The film is, in fact, pretty similar to "Bay of Blood" and it easily could have been named "Pier of Blood". A group of ambitious young actors and their director gather in an abandoned theater, located in an even more abandoned seaside village, to rehearse a play that'll hopefully launch them at prominent theaters in London. Shortly after their arrival, it becomes clear that the old theater and its dark catacombs also homes a sardonic killer and the players begin to vanish one by one. To reveal the killer's identity, the remaining survivors will have to dig up the theaters' dubious history... The search for the killer is very compelling and, thanks to the dark & ominous setting, the film simply oozes with suspense. The script features some very effective red herrings and the denouement is satisfying and even plausible! The murders are regretfully tame and unclear but, as said before, this is merely due to the inferior production values. No worries, as Walker will largely make up for the lack of carnage in his later films. His past career as a sleaze filmmaker, however, is more than obviously detectable here! There's tons of nudity in "The Flesh and Blood Show" and, albeit completely irrelevant to the plot, all the ladies have impressively ravishing curves! Decent movie, well worth adding to your horror collection.
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a couple good scenes, lots of unnecessary boring dialog; fair amount of live flesh, little or no blood
FieCrier11 April 2005
The plot is a familiar one. A bunch of people go to an abandoned building to stay there, and some of them start dying.

Even taken more specifically, this is a group of young actors who go to an old theater, and are killed for reasons relating to the theater's past. The Clown at Midnight (1998) is similar.

The movie has a lot of dialog, which isn't of much interest. People go off wandering, and sometimes they come back and sometimes they don't. They visit an older couple, and I didn't get a sense of where their house was in relation to the theater, which seemed to be on an island. Police actually are contacted fairly easily early on. The actors continue to stay at the theater far beyond what is sensible.

There's a fair amount of female nudity, even some full frontal nudity. There is even some full frontal nudity from one of the men. Deaths are not depicted very graphically, to the extent they are barely on screen at all. The killer is a heavy breather, with a black mask and gloves.

The music throughout reminded me of the incidental music from the original Scooby Doo series!

There's a flashback scene which is rather surprising, that has a couple having sex in front of a young girl. The girl's scenes were quite obviously edited in (i.e. she wasn't in the room with the nude actors), but it was still a little shocking. That scene was a little better than the rest of the movie, although it started off with a staging of Othello, which was not too involving. There's another good scene in which some of the actors think one of them is shining a spotlight, but it then shines on the person they though was handling it, who was nude. Being a little thick, they don't immediately realize the spotlight must be handled by someone else, nor do they notice how the nude figure doesn't appear to have any life in it.

At the end of the Monterey Home Video, there were trailers for The Slasher is the Sex Maniac, Night After Night After Night, and The Grim Reaper, all of which looked much better. Although I've seen a cut version of The Grim Reaper AKA Antropophagus (1980), and didn't think it was all that hot, but then the trailer for it was all of five seconds long or so. The other trailers were of ordinary length.
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Superior proto-slasher film
lazarillo23 February 2005
A group of actors and a director are gathered together by a mysterious producer to rehearse a play in a creepy abandoned theater at the end of a pier off the English coast. In "Ten Little Indians" fashion they begin to disappear one by one. This sounds like a typical slasher movie, but in fact it preceded the slasher craze by many years. It was one of those movies like "Schoolgirl Killer", "Fright", and "Bay of Blood" that contained many of the elements of the slasher films and may have even influenced some of them a little, but was made well before "Black Christmas", "Halloween",and "Friday the 13th" initiated the deluge of slasher flicks.

This movie avoids many of what would later become tedious clichés of the slasher films. There's no heavy-breathing POV camera shots. The characters are stupid, but they are not so stupid that they don't notice their friends disappearing. The killer's motivation is actually somewhat believable and doesn't seem like something the filmmakers just pulled out of their collective keisters to justify the carnage. Actually, there isn't much carnage either. Most of the murders actually occur off-screen (blasphemy, I know). But what the movie lacks in blood, it makes up for in T and A. This movie marked a transition in British director Peter Walker's career from softcore sexploitation fare like "School for Sex" and "Four Dimensions of Greta" to his more mature and superior 70's horror films like "Frightmare" and "House of the Whipcord". Not surprisingly, Walker offers a hot shower of generous female nudity to prepare viewers for the sudden cold shower of the terror scenes.In the hilarious opening scene, for instance, an incredibly voluptuous actress is awakened by a knock on her door at three in the morning, so she gets out of her female "roommate's" bed and answers the door completely naked.

I'd recommend this movie to anyone, but people who like Pete Walker, and slasher movies that are actually well-crafted and scary will especially enjoy this one.
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Decent British mystery/slasher.
HumanoidOfFlesh9 February 2003
Performers auditioning for a British "Grand Guignol" show are murdered in mysterious ways in this deranged horror directed by Pete Walker("Frightmare","Schizo","House of Whipcord").The film is pretty creepy and offers a nice amount of sleaze.There are decapitations,drownings,psychotic elderly tramps,naked women and some gruesome killings.The cinematography is pretty gloomy and the location sets are suitably eerie.A must-see if you're a fan of British horror!
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Not great, but alright
haxan8 June 2002
This is not a great film but I liked it better than the other 2 Pete Walker films I've seen (Frightmare, House of Whipcord). If you're familiar with Pete Walker at all you more or less know what to expect. If not this is a reasonable film to start with. It has the basic exploitation elements but is not as explicit as continental European films of the same sort from this era. For a British film it has a fair bit of nudity. There is not all that much blood, despite the title's implication. A decent film for this type, but not one of the best.
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