Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Anthony Forrest, Tom Marshall, David Jackson, Hilda Braid
Director: Alan Birkinshaw
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 06/24/2008
Men In White
Foggy Tewsday | 07/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Take a bus load of nubile schoolgirls who get stranded in the Lake District, four violent prisoners who are being treated with a new drug that has them believing that they are living in a dream and a couple of decent chaps who fill the knights-in-shining-armour role and you have the basis for something of a cult British horror movie. I first saw this film in the early 1980s, in the good old days of pre-certificated videos. As far as I know, `Killer's Moon' was never reissued in the UK after the introduction of the Video Recordings Act until this DVD's release in 2008. It's one of those films that you felt could have succumbed to the vagaries of the censors' sensibilities, especially because of its depictions of sexual violence. The good news is that the film is uncut. The comparisons with I Spit On Your Grave (Millennium Edition) and A Clockwork Orange (Two-Disc Special Edition), though, are way off the mark.
Having been advised by their doctors that the new drugs they have been given will enable them, through dream therapy, to act out their most violent and debauched fantasies, our four psychopaths have escaped the confines of their hospital and are now traipsing through the countryside. These four men, complete with their white hospital gowns, are unfailingly polite to each other as they delight in acts of murder and rape, constantly reassuring themselves that they are only dreaming. These characters, played superbly by David Jacskon, Nigel Gregory, Paul Rattee and Peter Spraggon get the best dialogue, at times surreal, at others sinking to maudlin comedy. "Why can't I dream steak and chips? Why does it have to be bread and cheese?" asks one as they eat a meal fit for a pauper prepared by some of the terrified girls.
Given shelter in an out-of-season hotel after their bus has broken down, the girls settle in for the night, donning their fetching white nightgowns. "We all debated whether to wear underwear or not [under their nightgowns] and decided against it," explains Joanne Good (who plays Mary, one of the girls) on the accompanying audio commentary.
It's true that there's plenty wrong with this film. A small tent occupied by the heroic Pete and Mike (Anthony Forrest and Tom Marshall) takes on Tardis proportions once inside. There's plenty of room, for example, for some cavorting with local good time girl, Julie (Jane Hayden). These tent interior scenes were obviously filmed in a studio, a point explained in the audio commentary by director, Alan Birkinshaw. Additionally, many of the nighttime scenes were shot in broad daylight.
There's not much in the way of gore and the rape scenes are not graphic. However, if this film was being made in today's moral climate, it's difficult to imagine that any nastiness perpetrated on a group of schoolgirls (even if, as in this film, they are being played by actresses in their twenties) would be countenanced for the purposes of vulgar entertainment; not in a British film, anyway. Some of the dialogue would also be questioned. At one point, one of the girls unsympathetically suggests to her friend that she was "only raped" and that she should just "pretend it never happened."
That said, if you're willing to forgive it a lot, this is an enjoyable slice of British exploitation fare from 1978. Undeniably kitsch when viewed from today's perspective, it still boasts some solid performances, particularly from the psychopathic quartet who gleefully indulge themselves with the grand gestures and flowery dialogue dictated by their roles.
The DVD has an audio commentary, as well as separate interviews, with writer/director Alan Birkinshaw and actress Joanne Good. Birkinshaw talks about the role his sister, Fay Weldon, had in writing some of the girls' dialogue in the film. All fascinating stuff for this film that, for all its flaws, is still an entertaining piece of schlock horror."
A. Griffiths | London | 06/20/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There's very little that's good about this film. A coach transporting a load of schoolgirls breaks down in the countryside and all the girls book into an off-season hotel for the night. Unfortunately a group of homicidal mental patients have just escaped from a nearby hospital. You can guess the rest.
It's just plain bad all the way through. The outdoor scenes switch from day to night time all over the place. The dialogue for the girls and their squawky teachers is atrociously written. The murders are a joke...victims never try and escape, they just stand still and wait for the murderous escapees to do their worst. You'll see a few axe and knife murders but you probably won't flinch. Some of the girls get raped, to little dramatic effect. One hilarious moment involves a small group who happen to be staying in a small tent in a field...as soon as night falls the scene switches to a very obvious studio interior which looks nothing like the field setting, and you can hear all the echoes of the dialogue bouncing off the walls! None of the cast are convincing actors. The script makes the mistake of giving the band of murderers far too much sub-Shakespearean banter to say, and they come across as very affected...they may as well have had them say "Ooh, we're mad, we are!".
The film just rolls along until it peters out, and it even ends with a really terrible warbling love song!! So there you have it - just one long list of bad points. There's nothing good to say about this film at all. It's been quite obscure and hard to find until now, but for reasons best known to themselves, one company has decided to release it on DVD! Well, they could have saved themselves the effort and left it in obscurity where it belongs."