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Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - Black Carrion

episode 7

UK 1984
produced by
Roy Skeggs for Hammer/20th Century Fox
directed by John Hough
starring Season Hubley, Leigh Lawson, Norman Bird, Allan Love, Diana King, Julian Littman
written by Don Houghton, music by Paul Patterson

Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Reporter Paul (Leigh Lawson) & researcher Cora (Season Hubley) do an article on a 1960's beat band, The Verne Brothers, who seem to have disappeared in 1963, I mean really disappeared from the face of the earth. But for Cora, it might be more than just research for an article ...

Soon, the two of them relate two seemingly unrelated things to one another: On one hand, 1963 was a year where an enormous amount of motorways was built, on the other, the Vernes bought a mansion in 1963, in Briars Frome, a village that has disappeared from the maps shortly after 1963 (not uncommon, since the motorways made some villages obsolete) ...

So they head off for Briars Frome, & find the village deserted, but not quite as deserted as it looks, since soon, their car is gone (?).

Ultimately, Paul & Cora indeed find some inhabitants: a bunch of almost zombielike villagers, who routinely kill those passing through Briars Frome, led by a maddened Ray Verne (Allan Love) of Verne Brothers fame.

... & now Cora starts to remember repressed memories from her childhood again, that she has indeed lived in Briars Frome when the Verne Brothers moved there, & from day one they behaved like feudal landowners - or total pricks, as you would call them nowadays -, & Ray Verne has laid his eyes on Cora's mother but when she refused him he violently beat her up ... all in front of Cora watching. Later, Cora's mother is found dead, & the villagers, thinking the Vernes did it, formed a lynchmob & hanged Ron Verne (Julian Littman), before it turned out neither of the Vernes had killed her ... From then on, Ray has had an eerie grip on the villagers, & now he orders them to kill Paul & Cora ... which is when the police arrive, looking for some missing persons, & can at that occasion put an end to Briars Frome's eerie goings-on.

Ray Verne has by now of course gone totally bonkers, plays his music on his manor's roof & then hurls himself to his death ...


Some nice ideas, good atmospheric photography & even some decent rock music can't hide the fact that the the story is too confused, every now & again going nowhere, is not at all creepy & has a very underwhelming finale. Still, one of the better episodes of Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense.


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