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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
... & 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
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.