GERALD’S GAME. (2017) A STEPHEN KING FILM REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

GERALD’S GAME. (2017) BASED ON THE 1992 BOOK BY STEPHEN KING. CO-WRITTEN, EDITED AND DIRECTED BY MIKE FLANAGAN.

STARRING CARLA GUGINO, BRUCE GREENWOOD, HENRY THOMAS, KATE SIEGEL, CHIARA AURELIA AND CAREL STRUYCKEN.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Question: What is a woman…?

Answer: A life support system for a cunt…

Wow. I loved this Stephen King movie adaptation of the supposedly ‘unfilmable’ book, GERALD’S GAME. I found it on Netflix during a routine scroll-down and was happily immersed within five minutes.

I love films about troubled marriages, having had my own share of rubbish relationships, and it’s obvious fairly early on that rich couple Jessie and Gerald Burlingame are heading off for some kind of make-or-break romantic weekend away at their super-isolated country house in Alabama.

Gerald, a good ten or fifteen years older than his wife, is some kind of executive business hot-shot, and he’s told his office people he’ll be out of touch for a few days. They have no children, and Jessie has only a few friends but they’re not really close, so there’ll be no-one to disturb them for these few days.

Carla Gugino as Jessie Burlingame is a truly beautiful woman in the Rachel Weisz mode, the kind of delicious, red-lipped, smoky-eyed brunette, perfectly proportioned, who makes us washed-out blondes all look like a sack of crap.

Gerald is clearly lucky to have her, as she seems to be a lovely sweet person as well, but Gerald isn’t entirely happy with their sex life- they currently have none- and he’s hoping that this weekend will rekindle something in them that’s been missing.

Two hundred dollar steaks are his idea of a culinary aphrodisiac, and a prologue to the nookie. Then follows the sex, and a smugly smirking Gerald, hepped up on Viagra, whips out the handcuffs, and not the furry novelty kind either, but the real thing. Sheriff issue handcuffs, lol. ‘Put your hands on the car, boy, or I’ll pepper yo’ ass with buckshot six ways till Sunday,’ and that kind of thing.

Jessie is a little weirded out by the metal love cuffs, but Gerald has made it clear he needs to try out some new stuff, so she feels obliged to go along with him, to save their marriage, see? But only up to a point. When she tells Gerald she’s had enough of his shit, much to Gerald’s angry mortification, something thoroughly unexpected happens that leaves Jessie fighting for her life.

They’ve left the back door open in their eagerness to get to the bedroom. But that’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, the place is in the middle of nowhere, right, and there isn’t a living soul for miles around, which was probably what Gerald, the sneaky sod, had in mind when he was whisking his gorgeous missus away on a dirty weekend for a spot of how’s-yer-favver, lol.

Jessie is in an exceedingly vulnerable position in their lavish holiday home. A stray dog, a stray escaped lunatic and some very disobedient memories from her troubled childhood that just won’t stay buried are some of the things that walk right up to her and get in her face while she’s a sitting duck, trapped in a SAW-style how-far-will-you-go-to-survive-type situation.

Well, they’re the only things that walk up to her, but, trust me, they’re enough. I had a sleepless night over this film, I can tell you. The horrific topic of child sexual abuse is handled very well here, by the way, showing us that the demons that come out of our closets at night are not the only monsters we have to fear.  

The ‘Crypt Keeper’ or grave robber in the film was inspired by none other than Wisconsin serial murderer Ed Gein, the gift that just keeps giving as far as cinema is concerned. PSYCHO, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS were all inspired by Ed, who liked to gut people and make furniture and ornaments out of their skin.

He’s possibly the spookiest of all the ‘famous’ serial killers, is Ed. Anyone who’s as much at home rootling about in a cemetery as in his house, as comfortable around the dead as the living, has the power to make other, so-called ‘normal’ people feel very uncomfortable.

He’s one of the few major serial killers of the twentieth century who doesn’t seem to be the subject of a Netflix documentary. I’d love to think there was one in the pipeline. Ed’s a fascinating, if gruesome, study. We’d all have nightmares after watching his story.

You’ll be rushing to research the condition of ‘acromegaly’ after watching GERALD’S GAME, and, just to warn you, there’s a scene in the film that would take the actual skin off your hand. Shit. I meant to say it would put the heart crossways in you. Forget I said that other thing, would you? The film also covers the grisly but extremely interesting topic of how long can you go without water/food, etc., before you die…?

You’ll be reminded very much of one of King’s other book-to-film adaptations, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, when you watch this film. It seems like a lot of strange, unasked-for things can happen during a total eclipse of the heart, sorry, I mean the sun. I went all Bonnie Tyler there for a minute.

Do the normal laws of God and Man not apply during this short but eerie time-span when the sun is obscured by the moon and dark shadows fall across the earth? ‘Keep watching, Mouse, keep watching!’ ‘Husbands die every day, Dolores.’ We don’t go all out for eclipses over here. Maybe it’s just as well…

‘You’re not real! You’re made of moonlight.’

PS, you might have seen on social media recently that the Bed, which is one of the three main stars of GERALD’S GAME, has finally married the Handcuffs, also an important player in the tightly-knit cast. After meeting on the set of the film and enjoying a whirlwind romance, the couple gave birth during the summer to Baby Futon, an adorable cherub who, according to her mother, the Handcuffs, is the living image of her father, the Bed. The couple have decided jointly that the Handcuffs will stay home and take care of Baby Futon, while Daddy Bed tries out for a part in the new John Lennon retrospective, A Bed for all Reasons.

‘We couldn’t be happier,’ gushed the couple from their new Hollywood home when I caught up with them during a Zoom chat yesterday. ‘We’ll always think fondly of GERALD’S GAME, as obviously that’s how we met. We’ve asked Carla and Bruce to be godparents, but we haven’t heard back from them yet. Of course, they’re very busy with their various careers. Um, did we mention that we couldn’t be happier…?’

Aw, it’s too sweet…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

CAM. (2018) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

CAM. (2018) DIRECTED BY DANIEL GOLDHABER. WRITTEN BY ISA MAZZEI. STARRING MADELEINE BREWER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I absolutely bloody loved this Netflix horror movie and was held in its vice-life grip right until the very end. Sadly, the ending didn’t explain the ‘horror’ part of the film at all, which was disappointing, and there was more than one red herring present in the plot, but I still wouldn’t have missed CAM for all the tea in, well, erm, my local tea-shop, I suppose, seeing as we can’t be non-pc any more, lol.

Madeleine Brewer does a phenomenal job of portraying Alice Ackerman, a beautiful young American woman who makes her living as a sex worker, but from the relative safety and comfort of her own home.

She’s a ‘cam-girl,’ which means that she, in effect, has her own Internet channel on which she performs sex acts or sexy acts or even ordinary acts that she sexes up a bit, and all for the benefit of the (mostly) male viewers who pay her in ‘tips.’

If a guy wants Alice’s online persona, ‘Lola,’ to do something in particular, he’ll up his tips accordingly. It’s all perfectly legal, and camgirls do pay taxes. It’s the guys who tip the girls who can end up losing their shirts, especially if, as in one case I read about, they’re using the company credit card to tip their favourite camgirls…! A clever camgirl can earn her college tuition fees in this way. It has been done.

A camgirl can do anything she likes on her ‘show,’ which will be hosted on a host site, who presumably take a generous share of the girls’ earnings. Lola’s show is hosted by FreeGirlsLive or FGL, and if you have any technical problems, they’re the ones who are supposed to help you fix them. They’re no better or worse than any other tech support helpline, seemingly. (They’re shit.) She talks live to her viewers in what are known as rooms, or chat rooms.

Lola does partial nudity on her show, or she might do things like make guys pay to watch her eat a messy blueberry-filled pie or take a bite out of a steak still running with blood. She might let the viewers ‘share’ her bath or workout routine. She might spank herself, masturbate, or flash her tits or lick/suck something phallic-shaped, all while being tipped ‘live’ as her show is streaming on the host site.

Lola has a collection of kinky sex toys, from handcuffs to vibrators, all ready for active service, and a wardrobe full of sexy little outfits and slutty lingerie. She might do a sex show with another camgirl to give her ratings a bit of a boost. Alice/Lola is obsessed with ratings. She’s super-excited when she gets into the Top 50 of camgirl sites on FGL, and dreams of the day when she might make Number One.

The pressure to keep your ratings up is almost unbearable. If Lola goes offline for a bit to sleep or shop or see family, her ratings drop. It’s like she’s not supposed to have a life outside of the chat rooms. The show has quite literally become her life.

It’s true she’s been able to buy herself a lot of cool stuff since she became a sex worker, such as fancy jewelled phones and gold laptops- so jealous of these!- but, like I said, she lives only for the show and the ratings, which is a bit sad. And there’s always someone else out there who’s going to do better than her, which is soul-destroying.

The pressure to keep things fresh and to keep coming up with new, bigger and better ideas for her show is also pretty exhausting. Lola’s clients have just lately started demanding blood, so she’s had to do a show where she cuts her own throat with a giant Michael Myers knife and a sachet of fake blood. Her ratings go through the roof, but it’s a little disturbing, don’t you think? I mean, where’d’you go from there? How’d’you top that?

She has private online chats with her biggest tippers, and this gives the men the idea that they and Lola are somehow ‘exclusive’ to each other, which can lead to stalking, threats and/or blackmail. You know what guys are like, lol.

She even meets up with some of these guys, allowing them to buy her dinner and give her presents, but, once you start meeting these guys in person, you’re kind of leaving yourself open to all kinds of preconceived notions on the part of the men. I’m buying you dinner, so you owe me, kind of thing.

Anyway, the camgirl part of the movie was fascinating enough on its own, without the film-makers throwing in a horror element as well. This occurs when Alice/Lola discovers herself to be locked out of her own FGL account one day. That’s not the horror bit, haha, but it’s plenty bloody horrifying in its own right. Computer/Internet trouble is the worst.

Anyway, as if this isn’t irritating enough (Tech support! Tech suppooooooooort…!!!), she also discovers the strangest thing. Alice might be offline, but her alter ego Lola, sexy, simpering Lola, is very much online, performing a show from Alice’s very own bathtub and saying and doing all the things that Alice-as-Lola would normally do. What the hell gives…?

The cops are useless pervs. When Alice tries to tell them that someone who looks exactly like her has stolen her identity, one cop says: ‘If you don’t like what you see on the ‘Net, then don’t go online.’ The other cop says: ‘What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to do?’ When Alice tells him she doesn’t have sex with her clients, he replies: ‘That’s a shame…’ Jerks.

Alice is also trying to cope with the fact that her mother has just found that her daughter is a sex worker, and not the web developer Alice was pretending to be. Alice’s younger brother’s mates have all caught her ‘show’ online, and it’s just not a very good time for the Ackerman family all round.

The writer of CAM based her writings on her real-life experiences as a camgirl. It’s the most fascinating new-to-me topic I’ve come across in ages. This is a fantastically slick and stylish film that you’d be nuts not to watch, despite the fact that the horror element sadly falls a little bit flat in the end. I didn’t even really mind too much that that happened, because the camgirl storyline is just so jaw-droppingly gripping. Watch it. It’ll kick off your Halloween viewing nicely.        

        AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1781994234

THE HOLE. (2001) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE HOLE. (2001) DIRECTED BY NICK HAMM. BASED ON THE BOOK ‘AFTER THE HOLE’ BY GUY BURT.

STARRING THORA BIRCH, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, LAURENCE FOX, DESMOND HARRINGTON, DANIEL BROCKLEBANK AND EMBETH DAVIDTZ.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I absolutely love this film. It’s one of my favourite horror films of all time. That’s because it feeds into some very dark fears of mine about finishing my days walled up or trapped somewhere from which there’s no escape.

First the food supplies get eaten. Then there’s no more water to drink. Then the lights go off and you’re left in the dark, alone and frightened. Then the horrific process known to us as ‘death by starvation’ moves in and sets up camp.

Hi, I’m your body literally eating itself. Pleased to meet you. I’m sure we’re going to have loads of fun together. This would be a good point in the process to wake up screaming and discover you’ve been dreaming all along, having a nightmare. If you don’t wake up screaming, then, I guess, may God have mercy on your soul…

This story concerns four teenagers from a super-posh, super-expensive English boarding school (thirty thousand buckaroos a year in school fees alone!) who willingly go down into an abandoned old war bunker on school property for several days, rather than go on a stupid old geography field trip.

To them, the bunker is just a really cool place to party and smoke weed and have illicit sex for three days, in much the same way as they’d enjoy having a rave in a crumbling old deserted warehouse down by the docks for an evening.

Liz, who arranges the whole escapade with Martyn, the school’s computer genius and hacker, is ordinary and mousy-looking and desperately in love with Mike Steel, the handsome, rebellious son of rock guitarist Stevie Steel. That’s why she’s so desperate to spend a few uninterrupted days in the hole with him.

She can’t let on to him, though, that she’s in love with him, so Frankie and Geoff have to come too, for cover purposes. Frankie, played by the gorgeous Keira Knightley, is the undisputed Queen of the School. All the guys want her, all the girls want to be like her. Frankie and Liz are only friends because, well, as Frankie says, ‘My coursework doesn’t write itself, you know…!’

Posh boy Geoff, played by Laurence Fox from LEWIS with Kevin Whately, is Frankie’s big admirer. Martyn the hacker is in love with Mousy Liz, and is deeply hurt that she prefers Mike Steel, the Hollywood heart-throb, to him. But he’s still prepared to help her spend several days in ‘the hole’ with her idol, as she seems to want it so much. And here begins the nightmare…

I literally won’t tell you anything else that happens for fear of spoiling the movie for you. As the truth comes out bit by agonising bit, it’ll leave you tense and all shook up, like it did me when I watched it for the first time.

I genuinely think this is a superior horror film, and I don’t know why it isn’t more talked about. Have fun when you watch it. Oh, you’ve got a fear of enclosed spaces, have you? So much the better…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.

LAST GIRL STANDING. (2015) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.©

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LAST GIRL STANDING. (2015) DIRECTED BY BENJAMIN R. MOODY. STARRING AKASHA VILLALOBOS, DANIELLE EVON PLOEGER AND BRIAN VILLALOBOS.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘What happens AFTER the horror movie?’

This isn’t exactly the greatest horror movie ever made, but it whiled away a June Bank Holiday Friday night during coronavirus lockdown nicely enough, and it’s definitely worth one watch and one evening of your time.

The idea of the ‘last girl standing’ is a ready-made horror trope all of its own already. (It’s always a girl, by the way; maybe because the aesthetics of a trim young woman running in a slim vest top and hotpants, with unfettered boobies bouncing freely and with long hair streaming out behind her, are more pleasing to the eye than if we just have, say, a heavy-set bearded bloke in sweatpants pounding along, struggling to breathe ’cause its years since he attempted anything approximating physical exercise.)

We’re all familiar with the image of the last girl in a horror movie to survive a massacre by the serial killer. We’ve all seen her running frantically through the woods in the dark, her white vest top stained with the blood of the friends she’s seen murdered by the villain and her long hair matted with blood and twigs. (From the trees and bushes, see?)

We’ve seen her trip and stumble to the forest floor just inches ahead of the pursuing killer. We’ve seen her flag down the one car on the otherwise deserted motorway, only to find that the car is being driven by the killer or one of his local accomplices, say, a corrupt sheriff or something. In other films, the car’s occupants are genuine and the Last Girl Standing is whisked away to the safety of the nearest hospital or police station.

In this film, Camryn (the world’s worst spelling of Cameron, a lovely name) is the titular Last Girl Standing. She saw her friends butchered in the woods in a pagan ritual, by a serial killer wearing a deer mask complete with antlers known as ‘the Hunter.’ Camryn went one further than most victims, however, and actually killed the man who was looking to add her name to his list of kills.

So, now, it’s a few years later and Camryn’s life is, to be totally honest about it, a bit shit. Her apartment looks like no-one lives in it, so reluctant has she been to personalise it or put her own stamp on it.

Her hair is limp and lank-looking, she dresses in the drabbest of drab shapeless hoodies and tops, she’s become almost terminally shy and jumpy and she barely talks to anyone at the dry cleaners-cum-launderette where she works. Even Nick, the cute new guy, has trouble getting a smile or a friendly word out of her.

Camryn has terrible survivors’ guilt. Why did she live, when none of her friends did? Plus, she lost all her closest friends in one fell swoop; all murdered by ‘the Hunter.’ That’s plenty to be depressed about as it is, but now, as well, since Nick joined the staff, coincidentally enough, Camryn has the feeling she’s being stalked.

Is the Hunter not dead after all? Has he come back to finish the job he left unfinished before? Or is Camryn merely losing the plot after all this time? You’ll have great fun trying to figure out which it is.

Camryn’s new friends- they’re Nick’s mates really- certainly think that Camryn is as mad as a box of frogs, out in their garden in the dead of night searching high and low for skinned and bleeding rabbits, and digging up dead serial killers in the middle of nowhere, also in the dead of night, just to make sure they’re still dead.

Is she cuckoo, or is she right? Is the Hunter back to finish her off, or maybe one of his friends or relatives is seeking to avenge the killer? It could go any way, especially as Camryn has such a tenuous grip on reality at the moment. Have fun figuring it out. It’s a good, serviceable little horror film and you’ll enjoy watching it, as I said earlier, at least once.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

CRUCIBLE OF HORROR. (1971) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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CRUCIBLE OF HORROR. (1971) DIRECTED BY VIKTORS RITELIS. STARRING MICHAEL GOUGH, SIMON GOUGH, JANE GURNEY AND YVONNE MITCHELL.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This psychological horror-thriller, also known as THE CORPSE and THE VELVET HOUSE, is a really dark film, and the darkest starring role Hammer actor Michael Gough (DRACULA, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) probably ever had. He plays Walter Eastwood, a wealthy middle-aged financier who’s the very model of a prim and proper English businessman of the period.

He discusses stocks and shares and reads the financial news over breakfast with his son Rupert, who works alongside him in the family insurance firm. He likes listening to classical music and going hunting with his posh friends. He loves his guns. ‘Who touched my guns?’ His accent is pure cut-glass British toff and his behaviour, I am sure, is circumspect in every particular but one.

To his terrorised wife Edith, an artist, and his beautiful teenage daughter Jane, he is a monster. He controls their every move and watches them like a hawk, even going so far as to read their mail right in front of them. He controls the purse-strings too and gives Jane no pocket money whatsoever, which assures that her friends tire of her quickly as she never has any money of her own to pay her way.

Worse than this, however, he abuses Edith and Jane physically in the most savage of ways, whipping them with his riding crop when they fail to measure up to his exacting standards, which seems to be often.

Early on in the film, he whips Jane brutally for stealing the kitty from his precious golf-club, which she probably only pinched in the first place because he never gives her any money of her own to hang out with her friends, of whom he naturally disapproves anyway. What’s she meant to do?

Jane is a real looker and Walter’s whipping of her in her bedroom definitely seems to have a strong sexualised element to it. Even if he hasn’t raped her or misused her sexually before, he certainly seems obsessed with her and gets enjoyment from chastising her physically.

It will transpire later in the film that Edith, who seems so brutalised from her husband’s ill-treatment that she has become languid, vague and spaced-out (she will almost certainly be taking prescription sleeping pills and/or tranquilisers), has given the works of the Marquis de Sade to Jane to read. In order, presumably, to make Jane understand why her father behaves towards her the way he does.

Both women seem to have him pegged pretty much correctly as a sexual sadist. If I were Jane, I’d keep my bedroom door permanently locked, although it doesn’t seem like Walter Eastwood is the kind of man to permit his women-folk to lock him out in his own house. He thinks nothing of barging in when Jane is only half-dressed, either, although maybe that’s exactly the state of deshabillé he’s hoping to find her in.

No support whatsoever is forthcoming from Rupert, Edith’s son and Jane’s big brother. He seems to enjoy witnessing his father’s savage sarcasm and controlling behaviour towards Edith and Jane, and one wonders whether he will take his father’s place as the dominant male figure in the family when his father grows too old- or too dead- to do it.

The morning after the golf club money whipping, when poor Jane is barely able to walk from the severity of the injuries inflicted upon her, Mum whispers to her daughter once the men have taken leave of the breakfast table: ‘Let’s kill him.’ It’s the only way they can both be free of Walter and his psychological, financial and physical cruelty…

This bit reminds me of when Mandy and Beth Jordache in Scouser soap opera BROOKSIDE murdered Trevor Jordache in the soap in the early 1990s. Trevor, Mandy’s husband and Beth’s father, had inflicted years of brutal physical and mental abuse- and also the sexual abuse of his daughter Beth- on his little family and they were quite simply driven to the edge of despair by it.

It’s a long time ago now since this happened and even BROOKSIDE itself is now sadly defunct, but I think that Mandy and Beth decided to kill Trevor when he started sexually abusing Rachel, Beth’s younger sister. It was a bridge too far for the two women.

Either way, THE BODY UNDER THE PATIO was one of the most exciting and dramatic storylines ever attempted by a British soap opera and the part of Trevor Jordan was brilliantly played by Irish actor Bryan Murray.

I met Bryan Murray on the LUAS (our Dublin trains!) a few months ago and we had a nice chat about BROOKSIDE and he signed an autograph for me in the book I was reading at the time, which was THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, the 2008 book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Which was nice, as yer man says on THE FAST SHOW…!

Anyway, things get a bit messy and confusing in CRUCIBLE OF HORROR once the decision has been taken by Edith and Jane to put an end once and for all to their terrible sufferings by offing Walter Eastwood, the fountainhead of all their misery. I do love the ending, though, it’s so deliciously black and grim and hopeless!

Rupert Eastwood is played by Michael Gough’s real-life son Simon. What must have been even odder for them both is that Jane is played by Simon Gough’s real-life wife Sharon Gurney. Michael Gough as Walter Eastwood had to pretend to lust after and get turned on by whipping his very own daughter-in-law, in other words…!

There’s a very funny flashback scene which I’m quite certain was added gratuitously by the film-makers, in which a naked, dripping wet Jane is hauled out of a lake and slapped around the place by Walter for skinny-dipping. It’s not funny that Walter’s being violent, but they didn’t have to include a nudie skinny-dipping scene, it’s purely for sexy kicks, lol.

The film is based on an old French movie called LES DIABOLIQUES which, if I describe the plot of same to you guys now, would be a spoiler as to how CRUCIBLE OF HORROR pans out. I haven’t seen LES DIABOLIQUES myself yet but I intend to dig it out. It’s a French psychological thriller from 1955 directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot starring Simone Signoret, by the way.

There’s a feeling of dread throughout CRUCIBLE OF HORROR because of the dreadful quality of life handed down to Edith and Jane by the tyrannical Walter, whom I must say is the worst, most evil movie-father I’ve ever encountered. And that makes him the best in my book, lol.

I would have given the film a different title as I’m not sure to what the titular ‘crucible’ refers (unless it’s the bowl that Jane… No, wait, I’ve said too much!), but that’s only nit-picking. I loved this film. Try and see it if you can at all.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor