Hammer House of Horror: Season 1, Episode 3

Rude Awakening (27 Sep. 1980)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 212 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 5 critic

A real estate broker finds himself having dreams that seem to be incredibly real. They are so real, in fact, that he begins to wonder which is the dream and which is reality.



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Title: Rude Awakening (27 Sep 1980)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Norman Shenley
James Laurenson ...
Mr. Rayburn
Pat Heywood ...
Emily Shenley
Lucy Gutteridge ...
Eleanor Summerfield ...
Lady Strudwick
Dr. Melbury
Patricia Mort ...


The real state agent Norman Shenley hates his old wife Emily Shenley and wants to divorce her to marry his secretary Lolly. When a new client wants to sell an old and isolated mansion, Norman begins to have odd nightmares, and he becomes confused between reality and dream. When Norman awakes, a surprise waits for him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Release Date:

27 September 1980 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The return to Hammer from Denholm Elliott and Eleanor Summerfield, Both had previously acted in Hammer Cinema films. See more »


In the dream where Lolly is dressed up in shocking (no pun intended) pink, Lucy Gutteridge is wearing her wedding ring when Norman and Lolly inspect the block of flats, but not in the previous scene when they are in the office. Nor in any other scene in the programme. See more »

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User Reviews

Denholm Elliot, Caught in Hammer-Dreamland
19 June 2009 | by (Salzburg, Austria) – See all my reviews

After the morbid second "Hammer House of Horror" episode, "The Thirteenth Reunion" already delivered a generous dose of dark comedy, this third episode "Rude Awakening" is yet another creepy tale with a delightfully macabre sense of humor. Out of all the H.H.H. episodes I've seen thus far (the first five), all of which I enjoyed, this one is probably the one with the wittiest and most original storyline. Denholm Elliot plays estate broker Norman Shenley, who finds himself caught in what seems to be a never-ending nightmare. On a Friday the 13th, Norman, who is having an affair with his sex secretary Lolly (Lucy Guttenridge), gets a call from an eerie voice telling him that he shouldn't have killed his wife (who is alive). This is when his nightmare begins... The episode has moments of genuine creepiness, but, predominantly, it is a bizarre dark comedy. The episode's ingenuity is, to a large part, due to Denholm Elliott, who is, as always, eccentric and great in his role. New Zealand actor James Laurenson is sinister in the role of the mysterious Mr Rayburn, and Pat Heywood fits well in her role as Norman's somewhat annoying wife, as does beautiful Lucy Gutteridge, who plays the foxy secretary/mistress. As the foregoing episode, "Rude Awakening" was directed by Peter Sasdy, who is known to Hammer fans for directing "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1970), "Countess Dracula" (1971) and "Hands of The Ripper" (1971). Sasdy once again succeeds here, delivering an atmospheric, eerie and witty tale that Hammer fans should enjoy. Out of the first five episodes of "Hammer House of Horror", none has really delivered the chilling Gothic atmosphere that I love about Hammer's Horror films that they made between the mid 50s and late 70s. The episodes all had a certain charm of their own right, though, and they all were highly enjoyable to watch. Having seen the first five episodes, I have a feeling that the best of "Hammer House of Horror" is yet to come. I am especially looking forward to Episode 7, "The Silent Scream", both because it is reported to be the best episode, and (mainly) because it stars the immortal Peter Cushing, one of the very main reasons to love Hammer. This third episode is funny, bizarre and original and highly recommendable for Hammer fans.

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