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Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - The Sweet Scent of Death

episode 8

UK 1984
produced by
Roy Skeggs for Hammer/20th Century Fox
directed by Peter Sasdy
starring Dean Stockwell, Shirley Knight, Michael Gothard, Carmen Du Sautoy, Toria Fuller, Robert Lang, Struan Rodger, Alan Gifford
written by Brian Clemens, music by John McCabe

tv-series
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ann (Shirley Knight) & her politician husband Greg (Dean Stockwell) move into a big house in the country, & everything seems perfect from day one ... until they meet weird florist Marvin (Michael Gothard), who shows an instant dislike towards Ann, & who seems to be lurking around the house at night, pretty much scaring the shit out of Ann. It is not made any better when Ann remembers where she knows Marvin from of course: 10 years ago she successfully defended the alleged killer of Marvin's girlfiriend in court, which led to Marvin threatening her life back then ...

However, when Ann & Greg go to the police, they can do pretty little, as Ann & Greg don't have any actual proof against Marvin ... & what's more, when doing a little investigating, police inspector Gray (Struan Rodger) comes up with some evidence for Marvin's innocence, yet there seems to be some mysterious woman involved ... but who could that woman be: Greg's weird mother-hen secretary Paula (Toria Fuller), who's secretly in love with him ? Or his personal assistant Suzy (Carmen Du Sautoy), who's just a tad too perfect to be real ? Or ... someone completely else (there actually are no other suspects).

But while the police are closing in on the identity of the mysterious woman (who indeed proves to be one of Greg's co-workers), Greg & Ann are throwing a party where all the 2 suspicious women are present, & especially Paula behaves particularly strange, & several of the guests claim to have seen a man looking like Marvin ...

Later that night, the party's over, the guests are gone: Ann finds her huspband knocked out, & Marvin leaning over him, holding Greg's gun. Ann & Marvin get into a fight over a gun ... when suddenly a second Marvin appears, who proves to be Suzy in disguise ... & she prepares to kill them both, then putting the blame on Marvin (the real one). But as if that wasn't bad enough already, Greg suddenly turns out to be her ally & longtime lover, & the pair of them were just looking for a perfect opportunity to get rid of Ann ... & when they found Marvin, a taylormade suspect, they decided to put their little murder plan into action ... when the police rushes in & arrests them both ... There is no such thing as a perfect crime ...

 

Rather predictable mystery (oh come on, isn't it always the husband & his to-good-to-be-true assistant in this kind of stories) that runs rather low on suspense & takes half an eternity to shift into gear - & in the meantime, suspicion is piled onto Marvin the red herring to asuch an extent that he appears to be the least suspicious of the bunch ...

The series Hammer House of Mystery & Suspense was pretty much the last product Hammer Films ever put out onto the market, but neither this episode nor the series as a whole were on par with Hammer's average product from its heyday.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD