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The Beast in the Cellar (1970)

Beast in the Cellar poster.jpg

There was a cycle of hag horror films which commenced in the early 60s with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and that of course remains a classic dayglo Los Angeles Gothic. There were some variations on the theme, including this late entry in the English cinema, produced by the venerable distributor and horror exploitation maestro Tony Tenser (who also has Polanski’s Cul De Sac on his CV as well as Witchfinder General).  Starring Beryl Reid and Flora Robson, grandes dames with daddy issues who live together in a country cottage, a spate of murders occurs in the locale and eventually the culprit is caught … in their cellar. It’s well shot but a bit silly however the gravitas has to do with the beast’s origins in World War conflicts and confusion. A song co-written by Barry (Delilah) Mason doesn’t hurt plus appearances by Tessa Wyatt and Irish actor TP McKenna add some theatrical chops. They don’t make them like this any more …

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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