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The House on Straw Hill

UK 1976
produced by
Brian Smedley-Aston for Norfolk International
directed by James Kenelm Clarke
starring Udo Kier, Linda Hayden, Fiona Richmond, Patsy Smart, Karl Howman, Vic Armstrong

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After having written a highly successful first novel & having a deadline for his follow-up, writer Paul Martin (Udo Kier) suffers from both writers block & hallucinations of murder and/or suicide. To cure at least the former, he takes refuge in an  isolated country house & hires a typist in form of sexy but enigmatic Linda (Linda Hayden). But besides being very good at typing, Linda seems to have some agenda of her own, snooping around in Paul's things & firing the housekeeper (Patsy Smart) without Paul's approval ta be undisturbed. When she also shoots 2 men (Karl Howman, Vic Armstrong) who want to rape her with their own gun in cold blood without making any fuzz about it, we get a hint of her ruthlessness, further emphasized when she kills the housekeeper, who secretly comes back one morning, & hides her body. 

But though Paul grows suspicious, he also gets increasingly infatuated by the sexy girl, & when she refuses his avances he invites his girlfriend Susan (Fiona Richmond) to the country to let off steam. 

This however seems to conflict with Linda's plans, so she soon manages to lure Paul out of the house to take a drive with the car - with damaged brakes no less - while she first seduces Susan, then, when Susan finds the housekeeper's corpse, kills her. When soon afterwards Paul comes back having survived a car crash unscathed, Linda manages to get his mind off Susan & has him finish the novel, only then she reveals her true identity - she is the widow of Simon, the man who actually wrote the book Paul released under his name & got famous for, driving Simon to suicide (thus the hallucinations), & now she is going to kill Paul ... a mortal combat ensues, with Linda finally winning the upper hand & getting ready to shoot him, when one of the would-be rapists she thought to have killed, with the effort of a dying man, stabs her ...


Despite the stupid surprise ending & despite the fact that the solution of this movie's central mystery is given away way too soon, this is an entertaining thriller with erotic undertones that is carried largely by the complete ruthlessness of Linda Hayden's character, giving her quest for revenge a very amoral spin that does no longer comply with the biblical "an eye for an eye".


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD