HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Fanatic We'd Like To Talk To You About The Bible
Year: 1965
Director: Silvio Narizzano
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan, Maurice Kaufmann, Yootha Joyce, Donald Sutherland, Gwendolyn Watts, Robert Dorning, Philip Gilbert, Winifred Dennis, Diana King
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: American Patricia (Stefanie Powers) is in Britain to meet her new fiancé Alan (Maurice Kaufmann) and, she hopes, marry him soon. Her last fiancé did not have such good luck, having died in a car accident, but she feels she cannot entirely consign the deceased to the past and wishes to visit his mother, Mrs Trefoile (Tallulah Bankhead) to set her mind at ease. Alan is not at all happy, but seeing as the old woman is not too far from the television studios he works at, Patricia decides she is going to head off down the motorway to the sleepy hamlet in the countryside where she stays, after all, it shouldn't take long...

Two titans of sixties horror that arrived at the start of that decade had many imitators, and a new strain of psychological, often Gothic horror had arrived. The first of these was Psycho, whose villain was ostensibly an old lady who had gone a little mad, and the second was Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, which featured another little old lady terrorising the weak. Thus Fanatic was very much following in those footsteps, as ageing stage star and all round outrageous human being Tallulah Bankhead was offered the role of a religious obsessive.

It was her first big screen role since the forties, and even though she was in poor health, she was still enough of a celebrity in the United States and Britain, where her stardom had first lit up, that she could draw in the paying customers keen to see her emulate her great rival Bette Davis and ham it up in a shocker. Apart from some voiceover work, Fanatic was to be her final film, so it holds curiousity value for that, not least because it was one of the few films she ever made full stop. If she was ailing, she didn't show it, for although she was frailer than in her heyday, she made up for it with a convincing show of steel beneath the unassuming exterior of her character.

What happens is that Patricia visits Mrs Trefoile, only to find she cannot get away. Initially this is down to her politeness at not wishing to let the old dear down, she has lost her son after all, and if she is somewhat eccentric in her Christian ways, then surely she means no harm even if she does disapprove of Patricia admitting she doesn't go to church. Fanatic was scripted by that past master of science fiction and horror, Richard Matheson, from a novel by Anne Blaisdell, and if it's not his finest work he does manage to explore the inner workings of the religious fundamentalist within the framework of a chiller.

For this reason, it's interesting to see that such adherence to strict moral codes, which in earlier horror films might have saved you from doom, here become the doom itself. The whole notion of Christianity being restrictive to the point of compelling its followers to murder is a challenging one, and history has shown that this has been the case down the years (not that the other religions are entirely off the hook here), but to put this fervour in the personality of a little old lady is novel, and this film could have easily have slid into outright camp. To the cast's credit, they play it straight and allow the over the top qualities to come naturally, with solid support from Peter Vaughan and Yootha Joyce as the shady housekeepers and Donald Sutherland of all people as a mentally impaired handyman. It's the Bankhead fans who will gravitate towards this, and she doesn't disappoint even if she could have done with a few witty lines. Music by Wilfred Josephs.

Aka: Die! Die! My Darling!
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3749 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
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: