Have you heard of a British horror film called House of Mortal Sin by director Pete Walker? Well maybe its one you should give a look, it’s available now on Blu-ray released by Screenbound Pictures. So without further ado here’s my House of Mortal Sin Blu-ray Review.
- House of Mortal Sin (1976)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by Pete Walker
- Running Time: 104 Mins
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 1
- Released By Screenbound Pictures
- Blu-ray Released: 22 June 2015
When Jenny Welch goes looking for Father Bernard Cutler at the church she instead meets Father Xavier Meldrum in the confessional. He urges her to share some extremely personal problems that she has been suffering with including the fact her boyfriend had insisted on her having an abortion. He requests that she see him in private the following day, in fact having heard her story he seems keen to see that justice is carried out against her boyfriend.
Is this merely a concerned priest or is he maybe struggling with his own demons as he seems somewhat taken with Jenny.
Surely Jenny has nothing to fear from a man of the cloth?
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Pete Walker with the cinematography handled by Peter Jessop. It’s very well shot and the story moves along a good pace.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is composed by Stanley Myers and is incredibly creepy and dramatic when required.
Acting / Characters
Good performances all-round with Susan Penhaligon as Jenny Welch and Stephanie Beacham as Vanessa Welch particularly impressing as a couple of sisters that are clearly close. Norman Eshley plays Father Bernard Cutler and does a decent enough job with the role he has been given.
I suppose the one person that has to be mentioned is the disturbing and strict in his believes Anthony Sharp as Father Xavier Meldrum. You could argue that his acting is somewhat over the top but actually its suits the film perfectly.
- Anthony Sharp as Father Xavier Meldrum
- Susan Penhaligon as Jenny Welch
- Stephanie Beacham as Vanessa Welch
- Norman Eshley as Father Bernard Cutler
- Sheila Keith as Miss Brabazon
- Mervyn Johns as Father Duggan
- Hilda Barry as Mrs. Meldrum
- Stewart Bevan as Terry Wyatt
- Julia McCarthy as Mrs. Davey
- Jon Yule as Robert
- Bill Kerr as Mr. Davey
- Victor Winding as Dr. Gaudio
Conclusion – House of Mortal Sin (1976) Film Review
House of Mortal Sin is a film that seems to have been somewhat forgotten I can’t ever remember seeing on television at least. And yet it’s a very good horror film that plays on peoples natural instincts to trust anyone from the church (maybe not so much these days but certainly when the film is set) and how even the suggestion that a priest could be involved in anything sinister is simply brushed aside. That leaves only Jenny knowing the real truth but no one including her sister is willing to believe such an outrageous idea.
I can imagine this film not going down well with the church at the time of release as many people did not think to question the motives of a priest. We however now know the church just like all areas of society have covered up crimes in order to protect themselves. But then what this film plays upon is the trust element granted to members of the clergy.
So is it any good? Well I thoroughly enjoyed this one and highly recommend you give it a look.
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House of Mortal Sin (1976) Blu-ray Review
Unfortunately the film is not in the best of conditions, I mean it’s not terrible but for a Blu-ray release you might at least expect a basic clean-up on the picture quality. It suffers from plenty of marks and speckles throughout the films 104 minutes. That said I expect that this is down to it not being a well known film, I really hope someone in the future decides to give it some love and attention as I believe it’s a film well worth the effort.
On the extras front there’s a nice interview with director Pete Walker that gives plenty of background into several of his films. There’s also a collection of trailers of his films which is a nice touch.
I’m still going to recommend purchasing it if you don’t already have it on DVD as the film itself is well worth watching and picture quality is no worse than many other titles that are still shown on television.
- Commentary with Pete Walker & Jonathan Rigby
- Interview with Pete Walker (18 mins)
- Pete Walker’s Film Collection Trailers
On to my movie rating for House of Mortal Sin (1976)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: IN NEED OF ATTENTION
- Extras: GOOD
House of Mortal Sin (1976) is available now on Blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s the House of Mortal Sin Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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House of Mortal Sin (1976) Blu-ray Review
Director(s): Pete Walker
Actor(s): Anthony Sharp, Susan Penhaligon, Stephanie Beacham, Norman Eshley, Sheila Keith
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A very good horror film that plays on peoples natural instinct to trust the men of god
- British Horror
- Good Story
- Poor Picture Quality