The Ghoul
1975*

| 88 MINS | COLOUR |


SYNOPSIS

1920s England: Two couples take part in an automobile race to Land's End. One couple, Billy and Daphne, get lost in heavy fog and crash their car. Billy goes to look for help. Bored of waiting, Daphne goes looking, eventually locating a rural estate owned by Dr Lawrence. He receives her and sends his gardener, Tom, to find Billy. Tom finds and murders Billy, pushing his car into a ravine; acting on his employer's orders.

Meanwhile, former priest, Dr Lawrence, tells Daphne of his experiences in India. He tells her that his wife committed suicide after converting to a new religion, because the things she did so horrified her. Daphne falls asleep in a guest room. Seeing this, the doctor's Indian housekeeper, Ayah, goes to the attic to let out a bloated, bloodstained man. He kills Daphne with a sacrificial knife, and Ayah cooks her flesh for him to eat.


The Ghoul 1975 -  Peter Cushing The Ghoul 1975 -  Peter Cushing

Geoffrey and Angela, the other couple, learn of Billy's death and set out to find Daphne. They too wreck their car in the fog and are separated. Angela is abducted by the lustful Tom. Dr. Lawrence discovers her presence and reluctantly decides to offer her as another sacrifice to the ghoul in his attic. Tom is sent out to get rid of Geoffrey.

Tom fails to kill Geoffrey, and is sucked into a bog attempting to flee. Tom admits that Daphne was fed to something living in Lawrence's house before being rescued by Geoffrey. Geoffrey confronts Lawrence, who admits that the ghoul is his own son; the man has been a cannibal ever since his conversion, and Ayah is another cult member. Lawrence has protected his son because he promised his wife he would do so.

Geoffrey rushes into the attic and confronts the ghoul, who kills him. Tom, attempting to rape Angela, is interrupted and also killed by the him. It confronts Angela, but Lawrence enters with a pistol and fatally wounds it. Angela runs from the house, screaming. A despondent Dr Lawrence goes to his study and shoots himself through the head.



REVIEWS

Britishhorrorfilms: A late night must-see. This was one of the last attempts to ressurect the Gothic horrors that had proved so successful in the 60s, and it has all the ingredients.

Allmovie: Far too stuffy to generate any real suspense until the violent, blood-soaked climax.


QUOTE

Tom Rawlings: Well, it can't be Human, can it? It feeds on Human flesh!


CREDITS

  • Directed by Freddie Francis
  • Produced by Kevin Francis
  • Music by Harry Robertson
  • Cinematography John Wilcox
  • Production company Tyburn Film Productions



  • NOTABLE FACTS

  • In the USA this film has been released as Night Of The Ghoul and The Thing In The Attic.
  • The photograph of Doctor Lawrence's wife is a photograph of Peter Cushing's own wife. She had died shortly before filming began, and his tears are real.



  • CAST

    Peter Cushing -- Dr. Lawrence | John Hurt -- Tom Rawlings | Alexandra Bastedo -- Angela | Gwen Watford -- Ayah | Veronica Carlson -- Daphne Welles Hunter | Don Henderson -- The Ghoul | Ian McCulloch -- Geoffrey | Stewart Bevan -- Billy | John D. Collins -- Young Man | Dan Meaden -- Police Sergeant



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