Not Great Print Quality
HungryJack | West Coast | 01/17/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A great film if you are into 1930s British horror, but unfortunately the print quality here is not so good. The version released by Arcanum in their Johnny Legend Deadly Doubles series has a much better quality print, PLUS a missing scene. AND it is paired with second feature FACE AT THE WINDOW."
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 07/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tod Slaughter plays a magistrate who is not at all what he appears to be (of course). He is drowning in gambling debts and must find a way to repay massive losses. So, he decides to marry a rich old woman in a hurry. Oh-oh! It seems that he's seduced a local maiden in the meantime, and gotten her pregnant! And she's poor! Our evil magistrate must find a way out of this sticky situation. What do you think he'll do? Well, Mr. Slaughter has only one method of dealing with such dilemmas! A quick murder and a shallow grave! Will he be found out? MURDER IN THE RED BARN has the lowest body-count of all Tod Slaughter films, but it's still a classic!..."
Old-Fashioned Thriller from Tod Slaughter: They Don't Make F
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 09/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"(As to the picture quality of DVD, see Fred Mudge's review)
They don't make films like this any more. Old-school horror maestro Tod Slaughter gives us gleefully theatrical performances as Squire Corder who seduces a local peasant girl Maria Marten, and then plans to get rid of her while attempting to pay his debt by marrying another woman. Tod Slaughter, who often played the roles of villains (including murderous barber Sweeney Todd) on stage, shows his trademark sneering, eye-rolling acting as "evil" square, but his turns as the killer are more restrained than Sweeney Todd.
The film shows a glimpse of what the stage in Victorian era was like, but at the same time it looks less stagy with more sophisticated and modern camera works including the climax sequence in the barn where Corder is driven to near madness.
The story of Red Barn Murder is based on true events that happened in the village of Polstead, Suffolk, in 1827. (The details of what really happened can be easily found on the websites like Wikipedia.) The murder case was immediately turned into a variety of plays, which remained popular stock plays during the 19th century. I know the version that ends with Maria's ghost haunting Corder, but this filmed version wraps up with more dramatic (and implausibly melodramatic) fashion.
William Corder's trial and his subsequent execution was soon followed by another sensational case of "Burke and Hare," notorious Edinburgh murders William Burke and William Hare, which also became a film "Horror Maniacs" aka "The Greed of William Hart" starring, of course, Tod Slaughter.