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The Pete Walker Collection,
This review is from: The Pete Walker Collection (House of Whipcord, Die Screaming Marianne, The Comeback, Schizo) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A lot of horror and thriller films, with a dose of the erotic, were released in Europe during the seventies, and many of them have survived the test of time. Pete Walker (1939- ) was one of the English directors that represented the trend, and it has been said elsewhere that he "tested the limits of film censorship in the UK with a string of gruesome and erotic thrillers." For our pleasure, then, we have now available "The Pete Walker Collection," a remarkable and historically important set of films that represent a testament of those glorious years, with the best of quality possible.
The collection is comprised of four titles in four Blu-ray discs, each remastered in HD from original negatives. The first one, "House of Whipcord," is "dedicated to those who are disturbed by today's lax moral codes (we are taking 1974) and who eagerly await the return of corporal and capital punishment." Everything begins when a good-looking fellow goes to the city, makes ladies fall for him, and then he takes them to a mansion in the middle of nowhere, where ladies are punished for their sins. The first lady that we meet is kidnapped because her sin was being a model and "exposing herself." They go to trial in front of a judge, and he condemns them accordingly. After three strikes, they are hanged. It takes some time for the prisoners to revolt. And, of course, being a women-in-prison film, there is some nudity. The next one is "Die Screaming, Marianne," with Susan George playing the main character. Contrary to "House of Whipcord," this film's story is a bit more complex, and it has to do with a lady (George), who is key to an inheritance, and everybody wants a piece of her -- hence the title. Here, the director generated a great thriller, with plenty twists and turns. On the other hand, "Schizo," one that I saw many years ago, is about a successful lady skater (Lynne Frederick - Mrs. Peter Sellers, herself) who, during her wedding and afterwards, is stalked by a fellow from her past, with everyone associated with her getting whacked in the process. There is also plenty of suspense to the very end in this movie, and some welcomed nudity. Finally, "The Comeback" is kind of a thriller-horror film, starring famous singer Jack Jones as Nick Cooper, a famous singer trying to make a comeback after a long period of inactivity, and whose agent (David Doyle) rents him a huge mansion, so that he can rest and find inspiration for his long-awaited recording. However, somebody tries very hard to make Nick go insane by playing tricks on him. This is also a great thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
"The Pete Walker Collection" is a keeper for anybody that has fond memories from all those horror and sexy films from the seventies. In a recent interview, Walker said that with his films all he "wanted to do was create a bit of mischief." That, rest assured, he did, indeed. Each film has extras that include interviews with the director, audio commentaries, and much more. (House of Whipcord, UK, 1974, color, 102 min plus additional material; Schizo, UK, 1976, color, 109 plus additional materials; Die Screaming, Marianne, UK, 1971, color, 99 min plus additional materials; The Comeback, UK, 1978, color, 100 min plus additional materials)
Reviewed on January 29, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Redemption Films / Kino Lorber Blu-ray