Synopsis by Robert Firsching
This ghoulishly fun Grand Guignol horror piece from director Pete Walker features a tour-de-force performance by Sheila Keith as Dorothy Yates, who was committed to a mental hospital in 1957 for a series of cannibal-killings along with her devoted husband Edmund (Rupert Davies). They are judged sane and released 18 years later, whereupon they take up residence at an old farm. Edmund's daughter Jackie lives in the city, where she tries to take care of her wild sister Debbie (Kim Butcher), visiting only occasionally and not suspecting a thing. It isn't until Jackie's new psychiatrist boyfriend Graham (Paul Greenwood) starts poking around that she learns the truth. The truth is that Dorothy, far from cured, is drawing people to her home -- through classified ads promising Tarot readings -- and murdering them with metal pokers, electric drills and pitchforks. Not only that, but young Debbie turns out to be a chip off the old butcher-block herself, leading to a gory and harrowing finale. Sheila Keith is outstanding as the crazed Dorothy, and Davies is similarly terrific in a low-key turn as her doting husband, turning a blind eye to his beloved's homicidal lunacy until it is far too late to stop it. A creepy, entertaining bloodbath, Frightmare is highly recommended for horror fans. This 1974 film was rereleased on video in the U.S. during the early 80s and named 'Frightmare II' to advertise it as the sequel to an unrelated film, the 1983 Frightmare directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane.
cannibal, family, farmhouse, couple, cover-up, craziness, farming, mental-institution, perversion, psychiatry, tarot, rampage, slasher