HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Smashing Bird I Used to Know, The Guilty Conscience
Year: 1969
Director: Robert Hartford-Davis
Stars: Madeleine Hinde, Renée Asherson, Dennis Waterman, Patrick Mower, Faith Brook, Janina Faye, David Lodge, Maureen Lipman, Derek Fowlds, Colette O'Neill, Megs Jenkins, Cleo Sylvestre, Valerie Wallace, Lesley-Anne Down, Michelle Cook, Valerie Van Ost
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nicki Johnson (Madeleine Hinde) is a teenage girl labouring under the weight of oppressive guilt, and every night she has nightmares because of it. When she was a child, she visited a funfair with her parents but when she took a ride on the merry-go-round with her father (David Lodge) there was a tragic accident that Nicki feels responsible for to this day and her father was killed by a wooden horse. Now she has other things to worry about, such as sleazy Harry (Patrick Mower) who is romancing her mother (Renée Asherson) but is actually, Nicki suspects, after her money...

And Nicki would be right in that assumption, but Harry has other plans as well, plans which get her sent on remand, hence the alternative title of this lurid drama, School for Unclaimed Girls - although our heroine is not unclaimed, as her mother wants her back once she's sorted her head out. Robert Hartford-Davis was our director, no stranger to exploitation movies, but this was more like a painfully sincere T.V. play which so happened to contain some mild swearing and a spot of nudity (not Nicki, though, she keeps her clothes resolutely on).

Scripted by John Peacock, who wrote a few scripts for Hammer in his time, this story exists to put poor old Nicki through as much grief as it's possble to fit into ninety-odd minutes. As if the death of her father wasn't enough to bring her down, Harry tries to rape her when he gets her alone, so she ends up stabbing him to dampen his ardour. This may work a treat and save her from a fate worse than death, but it does mean she's packed off to remand school, where she arrives in a near-catatonic state, unwilling to engage anyone in conversation.

Although sold as a typical women in prison flick, there are strong signs that Peacock wouldn't allow his conscience to map out anything so prurient, so most, if not all, the girls are sensitive types whose troubles are supposed to make us feel sorry for them. Alas, so stilted are these set ups that tedium sets in early on, only enlivened by the occasional nightmare or flashback sequence, both kinds being treated with equal sensationalism, full of crash zooms, haunted screams and solarisation effects. All of this indicates the shattered mental state of Nicki, but as she never moves on from this, the excitement is reduced to stolid indifference.

British viewers may have limited amusement spotting stars of the future, with Dennis Waterman as Nicki's sort-of-boyfriend (he has his own sports car), and Maureen Lipman as one of the girls. She has gone on record as hating this film, and when you hear the deadly dull monologue she gets to deliver detailing why her character became a lesbian (amateur psychology abounds) you can understand why, honestly, she drones on for about five minutes meaning the minor riot that snaps the audience awake once she's finished can be seen as a blessing, even if it does bizarrely feature two topless extras who don't appear anywhere else in the film. In spite of its great title, which really needed a better film, this is listless entertainment, with the hilarious "shock" ending livening up the proceedings but so perfunctory that its emotional cheapness is almost an insult. Music by Robert Richards.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5028 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: