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Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - A Distant Scream

episode 4

UK 1984
produced by
Roy Skeggs for Hammer/20th Century Fox
directed by John Hough
starring David Carradine, Stephanie Beacham, Stephen Chase, Fanny Carby, Lesley Dunlop, Bernard Horsfall, Ewan Stuart, Edward Peel
written by Martin Worth, music by Paul Patterson

Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Michael Harris (David Carradine) has been sentenced to life in jail for the killing of his mistress Rosemary (Stephanie Beacham) in a fit of madness. Now his life is ending, & he still doesn't know who killed Rosemary (or indeed, if he killed her in a fit of madness). So he travels back in time as some kind of spirit & tries to figure out what really has happened ... & the fun part of it is that he really appears to the characters as a spirit ...

Rosemary & Michael are spending a romantic vacation in a seaside hotel to do some fishing & stuff, & Michael desperately tries to persuade her to leave her husband Clifford (Stephen Greif) to marry him, but she stalls in every way possible, even pretends she has an affair with local boat owner Gary (Stephen Chase) ... Michael remains unimpressed.

Then though old Michael appears to her, & besides scaring the heebie-geebies out of her, he also announces she will be killed the next day ... which doesn't exactly calm her down. And he persuades her to stay away from the coast (where she's killed) the next day at any cost. When she proves to be not too easily convinced, Old Michael appears to young Michael, who somehow is freaked out even more ...

But that same evening, Rosemary & Michael (the young one) have a rowe, & Rosemary announces she is going to leave for London early the next morning & to never see him again ... so at least her life seems to be saved.

Of course, the next day she doesn't leave for London after all, but heads right to the coast where Michael is doing some fishing to tell him she loves him ... exactly the coast where she knows she is going to be killed, But naturally, it is not Michael who kills her (he is knocked out in a little accident prior to her death - which is why he couldn't remember anything), but her politician husband Clifford, who can't cope with her infidelity & the scandal it causes, but has cleverly obscured all clues leading to him & now has Michael as a cut-out suspect ...

Helplessly, old Michael has to watch Rosemary being killed, but as a revenge, he haunts Clifford for the rest of his life ... & because of that, Clifford soon dies of a heart attack ...


Let's face it, ghost stories often do not make all that much sense, & come to think of it, neither do time-travel stories. Why anybody would think a combination of the two would fare any better is left at anybody's guess. The result here is a rather feeble whodunnit story with some unnecessary supernatural mumbo-jumbo tagged on, which just doesn't work in any way. But what's worse, the actual story is rather boring.


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