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Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - Tennis Court

episode 13

UK 1984
produced by
Roy Skeggs, Brian Lawrence (executive) for Hammer/20th Century Fox
directed by Cyril Frankel
starring Peter Graves, Hannah Gordon, Jonathan Newth, Cyril Shaps, Ralph Arliss, Isla Blair, George Little, David Chessman, Annis Joslin, Garcus Gilbert, Peggy Sinclair
story by Michael Hastings, screenplay by Andrew Sinclair, music by Anthony Payne

tv-series
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Maggie (Hannah Gordon) and Harry (Jonathan Newth) have just moved into their new house that is somehow connected to Maggie's mother's (Isla Blair) past and that has an indoor tennis court attached to it - and somehow this tennis court is haunted since people who play there repeatedly turn evil. And a professional ghosthunter (Cyril Shaps) is even killed on the court.

With neighbouring vicar John (Peter Graves), a friend of her parents, Maggie tries to find out the secret behind the tennis court, and she learns the true story of her father (Ralph Arliss), who obviously didn't die in a planecrash in World War II but was only horribly disfigured and went completely mad - mad with jealousy because his friend, the now-vicar John (in the flashback scenes played by Marcus Gilbert) had an affair with Maggie's mother. And nowadays, he has apparently mastered some kind of astral projection that allows him to haunt the tennis court - which had some role in the whole affair - from afar. With the help of vicar John, Maggie exorcises the tennis court, even if that kills her father.

 

The last and one of the very weakest episodes of Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense. I mean what were they thinking, a haunted tennis court ? This concept is just doomed to fail (and it does). Add to this a totally muddled story about war, love and jealousy and a subplot about a madman able to haunt a place from afar, and you are left with ... very little, as it is. Not the conclusion the series has deserved, even if it as a whole was terribly uneven.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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