Six scientists arrive at the creepy Headstone Manor to investigate a strange phenomena which was the site of a mysterious massacre years earlier where 18 guests were killed in one night. It...
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Six scientists arrive at the creepy Headstone Manor to investigate a strange phenomena which was the site of a mysterious massacre years earlier where 18 guests were killed in one night. It turns out that the house is the place of a satanic cult lead by a sinister monk who plans to kill the scientists who are inhabiting this house of Satan. Written by
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Kenny Everett was a zany comic who started out as a DJ in the 1960s before fronting a prime time TV comedy show in the 1980s. This 1984 film is his only attempt at a big screen offering. Kenny died of AIDS-related illness in 1995, aged 50.
The film is a Hammer horror spoof, though many other films and genres are spoofed along the way. It is written by Barry Cryer, who appears in the title sequence. Eight scientists (including Kenny and, more plausibly, Dr Pamela Stephenson) investigate an old house where, 18 years earlier, 18 people were killed there in one night. The others are played by John Fortune, Sheila Steafel, Don (Rising Damp) Warrington, Gareth (coffee ads) Hunt, Cleo Rocos and John Stephen Hill. All were well known 80s British personalities but not entirely convincing as scientists!
The best known actor here is Vincent Price, though he only appears in a few scenes, as the 'sinister man'. Pat Ashton's appearance as the murdered barmaid marked her last appearance in a run of 20 years of British comedy shows before she disappeared, which is a shame as she was always good fun. It pretty much also marked the end of John Stephen Hill's acting career though he is better mapped as he went on to immerse himself in his Jesuit faith.
The film is a bit hit and miss, like Everett's TV shows - lots of scenes that don't really work, interspersed with occasional moments of genius. It is the only opportunity to see Everett on the big screen, and it represents a peak of sorts in early 80s British comedy. I don't want to judge it too harshly.
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