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 226 users  
Reviews: 12 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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Episode complete credited cast:
Norman Shenley
James Laurenson ...
Mr. Rayburn
Pat Heywood ...
Emily Shenley
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

A Nightmarish Trip!
24 November 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

I really like where the Hammer House of Horror series is going, as the quality level increases with every episode I watch! The first one – "Witching Time" was nothing spectacular but still fun to watch, number two – "The Thirteenth Reunion" – already featured the more typically Hammer trademarks and suspense and this third installment "Rude Awakening" is actually very good! The plot may not be entirely original and plausible, but it's incredibly fast-paced and rich on atmosphere as well as tension. Denholm Elliot, the cool bloke from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", stars as a middle-aged estate agent haunted by a series of hallucinating nightmares… Or perhaps it's just one giant nightmare? Or maybe he's not even asleep to begin with! On Friday the 13th, Norman Shenley is lured to a remote and supposedly abandoned mansion where an uncanny voice tells him that he shouldn't have killed his wife. Suddenly the idea of murdering his wife and run off with his attractive secretary Lolly becomes very tempting, but Norman can't tell anymore whether his thoughts are real or all just dreamed. Peter Sasdy's directing is as surefooted as ever, as he creates confusion even among the viewers by implementing a bizarre dream/reality structure. The secretary's looks and attitude, for example, change in every dream and you never get to know the real her until the short movie's climax. "Rude Awakening" is low on explicit violence and bloodshed, but it oozes a dark atmosphere and most of the characters – especially the supportive ones – are pretty disturbing. It's a fantastic little film that'll keep you glued to the TV-screen for a good fifty minutes.

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