REV-ELATIONS (CLASSIC HORROR TV/FILM)

Cosmic Rock

"You know I thought a fetish was something to do with high heels or suspender belts?"

 

- Sarah

 

Welcome to Rev-elations my children of the night, keep on making that beautiful music. It has been a hectic couple of weeks for me in the best way. My current work as booker/producer of Anarchy Wrestling is in full swing as we went live on Powerbomb.tv yet again last week. Producing live TV is a hell of a wild beast to tame and is giving me some great experience for my upcoming, yet to be revealed post wrestling projects. Writing this column every week is also helping to build some necessary muscles for the same project and I'm glad to be here.

 

This week we look at one of my favorite episodes in the Hammer House Of Horror library.  This is another classic twisted morality tale about revenge presented with Hammer's unique blend of swagger and class about an accursed central African fetish doll.

 

"A tale about a Fetish doll you say!? Rev, are you talkin' bout one of them there sex robots!!? In a show from the early 1980's?" No Cletus, in this case a fetish doll refers to the African equivalent of a voodoo doll. I tried to sound smart and condescending there like I also knew that before I watched this episode. For reference, I didn't.

 

This is the story of Graham Elder, played by British stage, film and TV legend Leigh Lawson and his wife Sarah played by Angela Bruce who will forever be Brigadier Winifred Bambera to Doctor Who fans. This couple who comes into posession of the aforementioned fetish doll after Graham's uncle Jack (played by Marius Goring - A Matter Of Life & Death, The Red Shoes) dies in a tragic accident after falling off his roof. The doll is left to Graham in uncle Jack's will.

 

For the second episode in a row our main characters can't even make it back home from the major plot point event without running into some chicanery on the road. Graham cuts a scarfaced dude off and he loses his shit and chases them down but ultimately does no harm. This disturbs Graham and when he gets back home with Charlie Boy he takes out one of Charlie's knives and stabs it in his gut thinking about the scar faced man. We see elsewhere the same scarfaced man is getting beaten up by some thugs and one of them stabs him to death. We later come to find out that uncle Jack's death was no coincidence either. Charlie Boy fell off his shelf. Uncle Jack fell off the roof. Hmmmmm?

 

Sarah rather likes the doll, and at this point Graham has no clue anyone is dead so he keeps messing with it. After being pissed off at his brother Mark, who pulled his funds for a film project they'd agreed to with their director friend Phil, Graham stabs a picture of Mark in front of the doll. At the same time Mark is riding horseback through a field in the single longest tracking shot of a British man on horseback heading towards his doom of all time. Mark crashes and burns on the horse and falls right onto a tractor blade and is instantly killed.

 

 

Now, Graham is starting to get think the doll may be a tad on the sketchy side. He only gets more suspicious when Phil is killed by an arrow on a movie set in a mysterious accident. Sarah swears there is a logical explanation but Graham doesn't buy it at all. When uncle Jack's housekeeper Gwen slits her own wrists, he's absolutely certain the doll is to blame. He notices that everyone that was in that picture he stabs has died one by one, except he and Sarah and they are the next in line.

 

Graham runs in a panic to Heinz, the antique dealer from whom Uncle Jack got Charlie Boy in the first place asking for his help. Jack says the only way to destroy the doll is to burn it on a large pyre. Graham goes back to get the doll in a panic, but....Sarah's flat has been robbed. The doll is gone and Graham knows his clock is running out. He chases down every lead he can find in a panic when he finally hears from Heinz who has an idea who may have stolen it. Graham gets the doll back and races home to burn it and as he passes a car accident, he has no idea it is his wife Sarah who is dead on the side of the road. When Graham returns home he chops up some wood and pours gasoline over it. He is ready to burn this mf'er down, but in his haste he trips and falls onto Charlie Boy, who is covered in knives anyway and impales himself. He tries to toss the doll into the fire but he overshoots and falls into the fire himself. Charlie Boy wins.

 

 

This episode had the highest body count of any HHOH piece we have seen so far and the design of Charlie Boy was truly creepy. The acting was top notch and the script written by Bernie Cooper and Francis Megahy was the strongest script we've seen in these episodes yet containing some truly great lines. It was directed by Robert Young who definitely kept the "castles and cobwebs brought to modern day" tone of the show going. The choices were quite progressive for the time featuring an inter-racial relationship at the forefront of the story where both characters were played as equals (in fact Sarah seems to be the more level headed of the two). It also delivers the Hammer staples of gore and sexuality but both in perfect moderation. 

 

Like the classic EC comics, and so much great anthology horror before it, the doomed fate of our characters lends itself to the terror, lets us have fun on the ride, and makes you think a little. What are the consequences of seeking revenge? It can be all consuming. When you invite dark forces to extract that revenge you are even further playing with fire. One cannot easily stop the momentum of malevolence once it has been unleashed and the price can be more catastrophic that you could ever imagine.

 

This episode was really a treat and ranks up there amongst my personal nearest and dearest episodes of the series. If you are sampling any level of this program based on these columns, I absolutely put in the "must watch" column. That's all for now, back to work!

 

Next week on Rev-Elations, we have the worst Air B&B reservation ever......in "The House That Bled To Death". Bring a towel, this one could get messy.  And remember...

 

"Paint your own path to success in work, love and life...before it's too fucking late."

 - Derek Cho - Mayhem - 2017