“The Flesh and Blood Show” (1972)
Studio: Tigon Film Distributors
Starring: Ray Brooks, Jenny Hanley, Luan Peters, Patrick Barr, Candace Glendenning
Directed by: Pete Walker
Running Time: 93 min.
Synopsis: A theater group gets picked to put on a production in an old theater, but little do the actors know that there is someone else in the theater killing them off.
The Flesh and Blood Show is another good horror film from British director Pete Walker. Walker proved to be one of the best directors for horror in the U.K. during the 1970’s. Walker has worked on many different types of horror films from ghost stories, murder mysteries, torture, and slashers. All of them had different themes, but all of them had the same style that Walker gave to all his films.
The movie is about a group of London actors and a play director who are hired to put on a performance in an old theater by the sea that is located in a small town outside of London. The town is so small it does not have any hotels so the group has to spend the night in the creepy dark theater. On the first night one of the actors goes missing and throughout the next few days more and more actors come up missing and the remainder try to figure out what is happening to them all.
First off the film has a great opening that is perfect for a horror film. It has two women in bed together and one gets up to answer the door completely naked. When she answers it there is a man at the door with a knife in his chest. The woman starts to scream as the man enters the room and falls to the floor. Turns out, the man is an actor who was just playing a prank on the girls. The man and the two women are all picked to be a part of theater group.
The film also has a great eerie atmosphere as all Pete Walker movies do. The theater itself is creepy and the group has to spend the night there where there are no beds and they have to sleep on the stage or in a dressing room. The place is always very dark and filled with cobwebs. The scenes that take place underneath the stage are the creepiest. That is where most of the group members disappear. At least towards the middle of the film they find another place to sleep in town after they suspect one of the actors attacked one of the actresses after that actor gone missing.
At the beginning of the film there is a message to put on 3-D glasses towards the end of the film. The climax of the film was shot in 3-D. This reminded me of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, which did the same thing almost twenty years later. Unfortunately, the DVD version was not in 3-D and unlike Freddy’s Dead where they gave you a cue in the film on when to put the glasses on, this film did not. The only thing that might have been a cue is when there was a flashback at the end and it changed from color to black and white.
As I mentioned before, Walker works in different types of horror films, but keeps the same style. From the three films I have recently reviewed, House of Whipcord, Frightmare, and The Flesh and Blood Show, all these three films have different themes. House of Whipcord is about women who are kidnapped and put into a women’s prison. Frightmare is about a crazy husband and wife who were locked up for years, but then released because they think that they are cured, but they are really not. The Flesh and Blood Show is a murder mystery that is set in an old theater. So, the films have different themes, which is good that Walker is not rehashing the same theme over and over again and he keeps the same eerie Walker style for all of his films and that works.
The Flesh and Blood Show also features some familiar faces from other British horror films from the 70’s. Patrick Barr who played the old man of the town, Major Bell was also in Walker’s House of Whipcord. Candace Glendenning who was one of the actresses also starred in Tower of Evil and Satan’s Slave. Robin Askwith who played one of the actors was also in Tower of Evil. The lead actress of the film Jenny Hanley who played Julia was in Hammer’s Scars of Dracula and she was a Bond girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Pete Walker’s The Flesh and Blood Show is another good film from the director. Just like his other films such as House of Whipcord and Frightmare, The Flesh and Blood Show is worth checking out. It is a very good whodunit that will keep you guessing until the end.