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The House Across the Lake

Heat Wave

UK 1954
produced by
Anthony Hinds for Hammer/Exclusive, Lippert Pictures
directed by Ken Hughes
starring Alex Nicol, Hillary Brooke, Susan Stephen, Sid James, Alan Wheatley, Paul Carpenter, Hugh Dempster, Peter Illing, John Sharp, Joan Hickson, Gordon McLeod, Monti DeLyle, Cleo Rose, Howard Lang, Harry Brunning, Peter Evans, Angela Glynne, Christine Adrian, Lila Leeds
screenplay by Ken Hughes, based on his novel High Wray, music by Ivor Slaney

Hammer noir

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Down-opn-his-luck journalist Mark (Alex Nicol) meets terminal ill but rich businessman Forrest (Sid James), and for some reason, the two men take an immediate liking into each other. However, at the same time, Mark takes an immediate dislike into Forrest's wife Carol (Hillary Brooke), a gold digger if there ever was one, who has an affair with pianist Vincent (Paul Carpenter) virtually under her husband's eyes. But as it is in these movies, Carol just can't accept that Mark doesn't fall for her, and before long they really start an affair - she even ditches Vincent for him -, despite the fact that Mark doesn't want to hurt his friend.

But Carol has a problem: Forrest wants to disinherit her as soon as his lawyer comes back from his vacation, which in her eyes makes Forrest's death a rather pressing matter. And sincew, despite his illness, a death by natural causes just doesn't seem to announce itself, Carol throws her passed-out husband overboard during a boattrip the two of them undertake together with Mark. And Mark, who never wanted Forrest to die - actually he wanted to leave the two of them for London the very next day, just to stay out of trouble - suddenly finds himself being an accomplice in a murder.

But Mark and Carol seem to be lucky, since the coroner rules Forrest's death a suicide - if only there wasn't this nosey cop McLellan (Alan Wheatley) around who asks all sorts of uncomfortable questions. So Mark and Carol decide it would be the best for Mark to leave town alone - just to prove rumours according to which the two of them are a couple wrong - and she would follow one month later, when the whole thing has blown over.

Six weeks later, Mark is still waiting for Carol or at least news of Carol, so ultimately he decides to return - only to find her place, her mansion, empty and up for sale - and McLellan, who obvioulsy hasn't given up snooping around, waiting just for him. Still, McLellan doesn't have any concrete evidence or at least anything to pin on either Mark or Carol ... so he drives Mark to Carol's new place - where Mark finds out she has since married Vincent, whom she didn't ditch after all, and she only needed Mark as an accomplice and a scapegoat in getting rid of her hubby.

There's only one thing Carol hasn't taken into account, and that's when Mark finds everything out, he is a man who has nothing more to lose, and he goes straight to McLellan to confess everything, just to harm her ...


Nothing great maybe, but a competently done noir, that is on one hand full of genre clichés, but on the other hand, if you like film noirs (and who doesn't) you might find yourself well entertained.


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