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Writer Paul Martin has scored a massive hit with his first novel and has retreated to a remote cottage in the heart of the English countryside to concentrate on his follow up.He's accompanied by his new secretary Linda Hinstatt,a housekeeper Mrs Aston and occasionally his lover Suzanne.However there is something strange about Linda and soon the bodies begin to pile up."Exposé" along with "Xtro" was classified as a video nasty in the UK.Admittedly it has a few sex/nudity scenes and a little bit of bloody violence,but there is not enough exploitative elements for my liking.Udo Kier is decent as a highly unlikeable writer and Linda Hayden is excellent as his secretary.She openly masturbates few times and has a great lesbian encounter with Fiona Richmond.The violence is quite tame except for the bathroom murder scene which is pretty nasty.The direction is lifeless,the characters are unpleasant and the film is slightly dull.Still I enjoyed it and you should too,if you like exploitation cinema.7 out of 10.
A writer has perpetual premonitions of a mysterious death, and his new
secretary is equally mysterious.
A masterfully woven psychological/suspense tale enhanced by great location filming, good acting, and taut direction by writer-director Clarke, who peppers his film with unexpected plot twists (particularly the finale) and compelling scenes.
Try to get the uncut print of which showcases more graphic sex, which also enhance this unjustly neglected, potential cult classic.
MPAA: Rated R; originally Rated X for some graphic sexuality and violence.
*** out of ****.
I may be on my own with this one, but if you ask me; The House on Straw
Hill is an excellent little film. Considering that it's a thriller, the
film doesn't feature a great deal of tension or suspense - but the
action is kept engaging by the way that it sets up the storyline. The
film moves slowly, but in doing so is allowed time to let its
characters grow and the plot to build. The film is set mostly in a
house surrounded by a cornfield. I'm not sure why these sorts of films
always have to take place in distinguished houses, but this location
actually provides a good base for this story. The field in which the
house is situated ensures that the action always feels isolated from
society, and there's something sinister about farm houses in the
country anyway. The plot follows a paranoid writer (played Udo Kier)
who is about to write a new book. He hires a beautiful blonde to be his
secretary to aid with the writing, but this turns out to be a big
mistake as the young woman has more of interest in the man than just
helping him to write a book.
This film was included on the infamous 'Video Nasty' list back in the eighties under the title, 'Exposé'. Like a lot of films on the list, this one doesn't feature a great deal in the way of gore and it's a wonder why it ever got banned. House on Straw Hill does have a handful of bloody sequences, but nothing enough to warrant it's banning in my opinion. Udo Kier takes the lead role and delivers another of his bizarre, paranoid performances. It's debatable as to whether or not Kier actually has any acting talent, but he certainly has screen presence and for that reason alone, his films are always worth seeing. He is joined by a distinctly feminine cast, which includes Linda Hayden in the role of the secretary and seventies sex symbol Fiona Richmond as Kier's girlfriend. You'll no doubt be glad to know that the two 'hook up' in one of the movie's central scenes. House on Straw Hill pulls off a great double bluff with the identity of the maniac, and this provides the film with its main backbone. It has to be said that the conclusion is a bit silly, but it's one of the few suspense sequences in the film and you can't expect a film like this to be without silly moments. On the whole, I can see why this isn't widely liked; but I'm definitely a fan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Usually a film of this genre
is not really worthwhile staying up late for. You know, the sort of
film where a mad person goes stalking through a lonely house for one or
two people, the odd flash of flesh here and there - that sort of thing.
If it wasn't for the fact that the RADIO TIMES - that's the TV listings over here in England, folks - had given this film 3 stars out of 5, then I wouldn't have bothered. As it was, I was intrigued as to what good a high-brow magazine saw in this film.
The plot is fairly simple. Udo Kier plays a writer who lives in a house in a remote area of the English Countryside. He is trying to write his second novel, a follow up to the smash hit that he had previously written. But he can't really type straight onto paper that well, so he decides to hire a secretary, Linda (Linda Haydon). It turns out, however, that Linda is not whom she seems, and soon dead bodies begin to crop up all over the place...
This film is pure entertainment. There are some incredibly stupid moments, yes, and you can't help wondering in today's world how the managed to get away with the awful dubbing over Udo Kier's voice throughout the film. Fiona Richmond, though very attractive, is reduced in her first big screen role as Kier's girlfriend, and so therefore generally gets slapped about before she is - thankfully - done in.
But the storyline is a fairly decent one, and the performances - particularly of Linda Haydon - are very good. The scenes of loneliness and eeriness of the place is shown quite well in the setting. There are some naughty scenes, but compared to what we have today these are in fact rather tame.
It is in the gore where lies the reason for its certificate. Sometimes there are random shots of the stuff, which are explained to a greater depth later on, and sometimes it is directly in-your-face type work.
On the whole this is a good suspenseful thriller that will entertain and even surprise you on more than one occasion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Mono
Not so much a horror film, more a psychological thriller with lashings of nudity and violence, this cheapjack contribution to the 'sex-horror' subgenre of 1970's cinema stars Euro favorite Udo Kier (sporting a dubbed mid-Atlantic accent) as a successful novelist whose guilty secrets have isolated him within a picturesque cottage deep in the English countryside. Under a deadline to complete another book in the wake of his first bestseller, he hires temp secretary Linda Hayden (THE BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW), a ripe young sexpot given to masturbating languorously wherever the fancy takes her (in her bedroom, in the fields surrounding Kier's home) and murdering anyone who disturbs her fragile psychosis. 'Nothing, but nothing, is left to the imagination...' promised the original UK ad-mats, and - true to form - the film wears its exploitation elements like a badge of honor, casting British sex queen Fiona Richmond in her first major role (prompting acres of free publicity in contemporary skin mags) as Kier's highly-sexed girlfriend who enjoys lusty romps with her neurotic paramour before surrendering to a lesbian liaison with the lovely Linda.
Directed by James Kenelm Clarke (HARDCORE, LET'S GET LAID), produced by Brian Smedley-Aston (VAMPYRES, DEADLY MANOR), and partly financed by Paul Raymond (the smut baron who launched Richmond to fame), the film slows to a crawl between the aforementioned bouts of nudity and violence, until the reasons for Hayden's murderous rampage are unveiled and she launches a merciless assault on the object of her bloody wrath. Though she (reportedly) distanced herself from the production in later interviews, Hayden is the film's trump card, a voluptuous beauty whose ample charms and faux innocence conceal a cat-like fury. Sleaze fans will certainly get their money's worth, though casual viewers may be less forgiving of the movie's many drawbacks. Also known as TRAUMA and THE HOUSE ON STRAW HILL.
Sleazy and sordid little British melodrama does have a following, and
it's easy to see why. It's an erotically charged film with enough
atmosphere, mood...not to mention lots of nudity and sex...to make it
pleasing to watch if the potential viewer likes their sleaze. It does
feel padded, even at a mere 84 minutes, but it's still quite amusing
and has some very memorable sequences.
Star Udo Kier certainly gives it his all. Even when dubbed by another actor, as he is here, he's fun and interesting as always. He plays Paul Martin, a hotshot yet unstable author who lives in seclusion and who's having trouble getting through his latest work. So what he does is hire a typist, Linda (delectable Linda Hayden of "Blood on Satan's Claw" fame), to assist him. But the seductive young woman only makes things worse, even coming on to Pauls' posh lady friend Suzanne (softcore icon Fiona Richmond) as part of the deal.
Any fan of this film would be advised to purchase the Blu-ray & DVD combo pack from the Severin company as it shows the film in its entirety, including scenes of Hayden pleasuring herself, both in bed and in a field. Hayden and Richmond show off the goods to great effect, and Hayden delivers a pretty good performance in the bargain. In one scene, Pauls' discovery of Lindas' private possessions is intercut with scenes of her being raped by two local creeps, one of them played by the legendary stuntman Vic Armstrong. Things are further spiced up with some bloody mayhem. It's not hard to see why this would have been labelled a "Video Nasty".
There's not a whole lot of story here, in the screenplay written by director James Kenelm Clarke, but it does have a decent revelation in the end as to Lindas' motivation.
Very sexy stuff, overall.
Eight out of 10.
Intended as a cheap sexploitation/horror film, made for only £50,000,
it's interesting to discover what became of Expose - and consider what
it might have been. The plot is good - better than an average episode
of The Avengers, anyway. A writer (Udo Kier) rents a detached farmhouse
in Essex and hires a secretary (Linda Hayden) to type his somewhat
There are low ceilings, claustrophobic surrounds and a small ensemble of performers including Fiona Richmond, who, as Kier's girlfriend, stimulates him so much that during intimacy with her, he feels the need to wear latex gloves. It all augurs well, the soundtrack's good too and I was pleased to see a vignette from talented Karl Howman, who I first saw in the exceptional National Youth Theatre production of Zigger Zagger.
The sex isn't outrageous by today's standards - though not quite the sort of thing you'd come across in Last of the Summer Wine. Funnily enough, I first discovered this film due to an innocuous appearance of Linda Hayden in another sitcom, Some Mother's Do 'Ave Em.
Her role in this is not dissimilar to that of Susan George in Straw Dogs; on one occasion, as she towers over her drunken employer, lying on the floor staring up at her, panic-stricken, I felt distinctly uneasy. Coming from Stanmore, near to where I grew up, she might at least have considered towering over me, after an evening of inebriation in a pub near the end of the Northern Line. Charlotte Rampling, a fellow actress from the neighbourhood, who appeared in The Night Porter, amongst other things, became a much bigger star. Linda could - and perhaps should - have emulated her. She was apparently disappointed Fiona Richmond enjoyed star billing on the posters and that the film was advertised as a skinflick. Fair enough, but perennial masturbation was not depicted so much in mainstream films in those days (these days, it's almost compulsory, although most associated with American boys in teenage coming of age movies).
Suffice to say, with a little bit more suspense, erotica and sensuality rather than sex and perhaps one more twist, this could have been a Witchfinder General or Wicker Man. Perhaps. As it is, it's interesting, worth a look and in the end, hangs together rather well.
Unimaginative slab of sexploitation horror has nubile (if slightly pudgy here) Linda Hayden as a disturbed woman who comes to work as secretary for pretentious writer Udo Kier. After a slow buildup, peppered with repeated scenes of Hayden masturbating, she gets to work on knocking off the supporting cast. Hayden's charisma goes a long way to making the film watchable, but it's all a very dry exercise, with little effort in either suspense or characterization making the whole thing seem rather pointless, and the final twist revelation making all of the antics that came before somewhat questionable in motivation. In a supporting role, Fiona Richmond occasionally wears clothes.
As others have said this is the only British-made film to have been
banned in Britain during the "video nasty" scandal. Ironically, all the
other films that the British government tried to ban are extremely
popular today in Britain , even though most of them are completely
worthless dreck (i.e. "The Dorm that Dripped Blood", "Forest of Fear").
But this film, while popular in Britain, is virtually unknown outside
of the UK unfortunately--the idiot British censor only really managed
to effectively ban one of the halfway-decent "nasties" from the rest of
The movie features Udo Kier as a weird neurotic writer who wears rubber gloves (but apparently not a condom) during sex. Linda Hayden plays a psychotic secretary he hires, who seems to have some very dark ulterior motives. Kier is always pretty good, even if this isn't one of his best performances. Hayden though is GREAT. She has often expressed regret about this role, perhaps because for a RADA-trained actress, she spends a lot of time naked and/or masturbating. She also takes a lesbian roll in the hay with Kier's statuesque girlfriend (Fiona Richmond), and gets raped "Straw Dogs"-style by two local yokels (perhaps this might partly explain the alternate title), but right afterward she turns into Camille Keaton in "I Spit on Your Grave" (although this movie was actually made before that one). It's kind of hard to complain though that the lovely, lovely Linda Hayden would appear in such sexually graphic role, but really any number of actresses could have done THAT. None of them, however, could have equaled her performance here as a scary psychotic minx.
Strangely, the original British release of this was called "Expose" and prominently featured Richmond, not Hayden or Keir, in the promotional material, even though she is barely in the movie and couldn't act to save her life. At least, her hot sex scenes with Hayden and with a be-gloved Udo Kier are memorable. (Hell, today, in America at least, they'll take some talent-free pin-up queen like Richmond give her a much bigger part in a much more lame movie and then NOT have her even take her clothes off, so everyone will "take her seriously as an actress". Baaah!) This isn't a great movie (and I prefer the alternate title "House on Straw Hill"), but it's definitely a very decent Brit exploitation film and one of the few "video nasties" that really DESERVES to be seen outside the UK.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Expose, also know under the title The House on Straw Hill, is set in
the English countryside in a large house rented out by writer Paul
Martin (Udo Kier) as he tries to complete his second novel. However
things are not going that well, perhaps it's the disturbing visions he
has? Or maybe his large breasted assistant Suzanne (Fiona Richmond) is
distracting him too much with their nocturnal activities? Then again it
could simply be writer's block, in an attempt to get back on track Paul
hassles his publisher to hire a temporary typist so he can dictate.
Paul is sent an attractive young lady named Linda Hindstatt (Linda
Hayden) who at first seems perfect but that impression doesn't linger
for long, why does she masturbate over photo's of Paul? Why does she
masturbate in the middle of a corn field? Why does she masturbate in
bed at night? Why does she have a dildo in her suitcase? What secret is
she hiding? As time passes the house on straw hill becomes embroiled in
seedy sex & brutal violence...
This English production was written & directed by James Kenelm Clarke & has gained a certain amount of notoriety since it was banned & placed on the 'Video Nasties' list here in the UK during the early eighties. I don't really know why but I rather like Expose. The script doesn't quite know what it wants to be & features an unusual & heady mixture of murder, gore, mystery, intrigue, sleaze, sex, nudity, rape & a implausible twist ending that when all pieced together astonishingly works. The pace is measured & is sometimes slow but at the same time I found it fascinating to watch, the opening scenes feature Paul putting on a pair of rubber gloves before having sex with Suzanne! Why? I want to know why he puts on rubber gloves before having sex, I honestly can't think of a single reasonable explanation as to why! Linda masturbates all the time & what about that rape scene? As Linda is raped at gunpoint she starts to stroke the barrel of the shotgun in a very suggestive manner if you catch my drift... I just think Expose is a great blend of weirdness, violence, sex & sleaze although the story could have been better if the mystery elements had been developed & expanded upon, I mean there's a killer running around but there are only three people in the house & it's far from difficult to work out the killers identity.
Director Clarke does a decent job & I just love the look & feel of Expose. It's the whole era, the Essex locations, the cars, clothes, dialogue & the quaint English countryside. The notion that the two rapists ride around on bikes is just so English! There is a gory slit throat, someone is bloodily stabbed in a shower, the rapists are shot & there are some gory suicide flashbacks. There's plenty of sexual content & it's pretty graphic.
Technically the film is good & while it isn't going to win any awards for artistic merit it's more than acceptable. The acting was OK, Hayden is pretty attractive (apparently she hates Expose & regrets doing it), Richmond has a really bad tan & Kier is always good value for money & watchable if nothing else. Karl Howman is one of the rapists, English users may recognise him from the cheesy 'Flash' washing up liquid commercials!
I really liked Expose, I'm not sure I could recommend it because you have to be of a certain disposition but for low budget exploitation fans this is a must. Sex, rape, blood, violence, murder & sleaze, what more do you want?
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