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House of Whipcord (1974)

R | | Horror | March 1975 (USA)
An old man who lives in an old house conducts a correctional institute for girls. But he does not realize that the date is the present as he's been cooped up in the house. He is assisted by... See full summary »

Director:

Pete Walker

Writers:

David McGillivray (screenplay), Pete Walker (original story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Markham ... Mrs. Wakehurst
Patrick Barr ... Justice Bailey
Ray Brooks ... Tony
Ann Michelle ... Julia
Sheila Keith ... Walker
Dorothy Gordon ... Bates
Robert Tayman Robert Tayman ... Mark E. Desade
Ivor Salter ... Jack
Karan David Karan David ... Karen
Celia Quicke Celia Quicke ... Denise
Ron Smerczak Ron Smerczak ... Ted
Tony Sympson Tony Sympson ... Henry
Judy Robinson Judy Robinson ... Claire
Jane Hayward ... Estelle
Celia Imrie ... Barbara
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Storyline

An old man who lives in an old house conducts a correctional institute for girls. But he does not realize that the date is the present as he's been cooped up in the house. He is assisted by a matron who likes to get the girls into trouble and present them in front of the old man who thinks he is the law and passes out punishment. Afterwards the girls are tied to a cross and whipped. Meanwhile the matron's son falls in love with a girl at a party and brings her to the house. Written by Fredrick Miles

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...and no escaped... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Photographer's Models See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peggy Cummins auditioned for the role of Mrs. Wakehurst, but didn't get the role because Pete Walker thought she looked too attractive and hence was wrong for the part. See more »

Goofs

When Karen is hanged, it appears she has been executed by the "long drop" method in which the victim is allowed to fall several feet in order to break her neck. This is apparent in the way Karen's body disappears entirely from the frame when the trap door is sprung. Having matron Walker weigh Karen beforehand is consistent with the procedure for long drop hangings so that the executioner can calculate the slack needed to ensure a quick death without decapitating the victim. However, the rope we see attached to the gallows is far too short for a long drop hanging. It has hardly any slack at all and would have resulted in a "short drop hanging" in which the victim would have fallen less than a foot and remained completely in view at almost the same level as her executioners while she slowly strangled. The absence of slack in the rope had already been confirmed when Mrs. Wakehurst inspected the gallows the day before and tugged on the rope. If there had been more rope above the frame than we could see on screen, Wakehurst would have released it when she pulled. The rope was clearly only as long as it appeared to be with the knot at about the level of Wakehurst's chin. In short, it is physically impossible for the gallows rig shown to produce the effect displayed in the film where the rope grew several feet in between edits. See more »

Quotes

Jack: [looking at back of newspaper] Osgood rocks Spurs, eh?
Customer seated in cafe: Two in the first half, and another five minutes from time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to those who are disturbed by today's lax moral codes and who eagerly await the return of corporal and capital punishment. See more »

Alternate Versions

The disc also presents the uncut version of the film, but, although somewhat detailed, it has not been remastered. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Euroshock classic - Pete Walker has outdone himself!
22 March 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

I didn't go into this film with very high expectations because I didn't like Pete Walker's Frightmare very much; but House of Whipcord is a vastly superior film and, to be honest, I'm shocked that this doesn't get mentioned more often! Pete Walker's film is both a sleazy seventies exploitation classic and a striking indictment of the justice system. The film serves as a warning against what would happen if private institutions were given the power to decide what is apt punishment for certain crimes, and the dedication of the film to all those who believe in capital punishment shows Pete Walker's love for controversy. The plot takes place in an old house, which doubles up as a private institution ran by a senile judge, his unforgiving partner; the female warden of the prison and two equally vile female orderlies. They punish girls for crimes committed that weren't, in their eyes, properly punished by the corrupt British courts. We pick the story up when a young French girl is inducted into the institution.

The atmosphere of the film is brilliant; Pete Walker always ensures that the action is sleazy, and yet oddly erotic at the same time. The film is very matriarchal, and it's the female characters that are the protagonists while the men exist in background roles. However, the film isn't feminist; and, in fact, is the exact opposite; as the director ensures that none of the women are portrayed in a favourable light. The film benefits from a handful of great performances; the best of which coming from Barbara Markham, who gives a powerhouse performance in the role of the head of the institution. Frightmare star Sheila Keith, and Dorothy Gordon are the orderlies, while Patrick Barr is brilliantly understated in his role as the ineffective Justice of the prison. Penny Irving is the young French victim at the centre of the story; but her performance is brought down by her ridiculous French accent! The story is another major strong point for this film, as Pete Walker ensures that it always moves well and although you wouldn't expect it from a Euroshock movie like this - he also makes it easy to care about the characters and what happens to them. On the whole, this is a vastly underrated and under seen seventies gem that must be seen by anyone who gets the chance to see it!


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