House of Whipcord

1974

Horror

2
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 1516

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 19, 2021 at 06:12 PM

Director

Cast

Celia Imrie as Barbara
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
943.4 MB
1280*800
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S 2 / 7
1.71 GB
1744*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by phillindholm 8 / 10

Much more than a women's prison film.

"This film is dedicated to those who are disturbed by today's lax moral codes and who eagerly await the return of corporal and capital punishment". So reads the foreword at the beginning of "House of Whipcord". With a title like that, it's pretty obvious what the viewer is in for. Right? Wrong. Although this film was promoted as a standard women's prison sleaze-fest, there is much more to it than that. In a way, the dedication (which is very tongue-in-cheek) is as good a description of the plot as any. Young French model Anne-Marie Devernay (Penny Irving of "Are You Being Served?" fame) is nominally fined for posing nude in a public place. At a party, she meets a charismatic stranger named Mark E. Dessart (Robert Tayman) who takes more than a passing interest in her. Because Our Heroine is rather dim-witted (to say the least), not only does she disregard his oddly familiar-sounding name and puts up with his very weird mind games, she agrees to accompany him out of town to meet his parents. No sooner is she in the car than he takes off like a bat out of (or headed for) Hell. Upon arriving at his parent's VERY ominous country home, he disappears, leaving Anne-Marie at the mercy of two formidable middle aged women, Walker and Bates (Sheila Keith and Dorothy Gordon) who appear to be prison guards. And indeed, it's not long before the girl is thrust in front of Mark's father, retired Justice Bailey (Patrick Barr) and his mother (Barbara Markham) a former prison warden dismissed for her cruelty to the inmates. These four demented individuals (and Dessart, their "procurer") take it upon themselves to punish any young women whom they feel have escaped the law, and have set up their own "House of Corrections" for that purpose. Anne-Marie is promptly sentenced and thrown into a cell, where she is informed by another luckless inmate that nobody ever leaves and three strikes against you and you're dead. Things quickly get tougher from there.Meanwhile, Anne-Marie's roommate Julia (Anne Michelle) and her boyfriend Tony (Ray Brooks) are searching for her. This serves as the premise for an atmospheric and chilling British film which is also a parody of the repressive former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (the warden's name is Margaret Wakehurst) and her ilk. Producer/director Pete Walker, known for his string of low-budget horror/suspense films, does an excellent job invoking the nightmarish prison and he has gotten fine performances from his cast, especially Keith, (a Walker regular) as the creepiest guard. Unfortunately, Irving, sporting an incomprehensible French accent(a plot device which could easily have been dispensed with), tends to be more laughable than sympathetic. Nevertheless, the grim story and pervading atmosphere of doom render the picture eerily convincing. The film was originally released in England in 1974, and it was spottily distributed in the US by American International Pictures a year later. But, other than a few television showings in the late '80's, it has gone largely unseen in the States.

"House of Whipcord", which was previously available on a DVD from Image Entertainment, has been recently re-released by Media Blasters/Shreik Show. Their DVD not only adds trailers, a photo gallery and a truly fascinating commentary from producer/director Walker (who has a cameo as a bicyclist) but a greatly improved anamorphically enhanced print. Though the prison scenes are still dark, this is the way the picture was made, and the bigger the screen it is viewed on, the better it probably looks. The score by Stanley Myers ("The Deer Hunter", "No Way to Treat a Lady") perfectly matches the brooding visuals and the title theme is memorable. Sadly, no subtitles have been added which really would have been a plus when listening to Irving babbling in Faux-French. Nevertheless, the picture is highly recommended and if it's still regarded as a "women's prison movie" it's one for a more discriminating viewer.

Reviewed by The_Void 8 / 10

Great Euroshock classic - Pete Walker has outdone himself!

I didn't go into this film with very high expectations because I didn't like Pete Walker's Frightmare very much; but House of Whipcord is a vastly superior film and, to be honest, I'm shocked that this doesn't get mentioned more often! Pete Walker's film is both a sleazy seventies exploitation classic and a striking indictment of the justice system. The film serves as a warning against what would happen if private institutions were given the power to decide what is apt punishment for certain crimes, and the dedication of the film to all those who believe in capital punishment shows Pete Walker's love for controversy. The plot takes place in an old house, which doubles up as a private institution ran by a senile judge, his unforgiving partner; the female warden of the prison and two equally vile female orderlies. They punish girls for crimes committed that weren't, in their eyes, properly punished by the corrupt British courts. We pick the story up when a young French girl is inducted into the institution.

The atmosphere of the film is brilliant; Pete Walker always ensures that the action is sleazy, and yet oddly erotic at the same time. The film is very matriarchal, and it's the female characters that are the protagonists while the men exist in background roles. However, the film isn't feminist; and, in fact, is the exact opposite; as the director ensures that none of the women are portrayed in a favourable light. The film benefits from a handful of great performances; the best of which coming from Barbara Markham, who gives a powerhouse performance in the role of the head of the institution. Frightmare star Sheila Keith, and Dorothy Gordon are the orderlies, while Patrick Barr is brilliantly understated in his role as the ineffective Justice of the prison. Penny Irving is the young French victim at the centre of the story; but her performance is brought down by her ridiculous French accent! The story is another major strong point for this film, as Pete Walker ensures that it always moves well and although you wouldn't expect it from a Euroshock movie like this - he also makes it easy to care about the characters and what happens to them. On the whole, this is a vastly underrated and under seen seventies gem that must be seen by anyone who gets the chance to see it!

Reviewed by Coventry 9 / 10

Pleasantly deranged sexploitation!

The not exactly subtle director Pete Walker triumphs here with a very decent sexploitation gem about a well-hidden prison, serving to re-educate naughty young girls and ruled by an elderly couple. They (he's a judge, she's an ex-warden who resigned due to her share in a suspicious suicide case) found the British law-system to be ineffective and therefore order the handsome son Marc to bring pretty girls who committed small felonies back to the prison. Even though the blind and senile old judge doesn't realize it, the girls are humiliated, tortured and eventually executed. The script centers on a French nude model (with an atrocious accent) named Marie from the moment she gets seduced by Marc to when she faces true misery. Walker's idea is great and the film is overall very well-scripted, with an eye for black humor and imaginative perverted undertones. Our daring director clearly aims for controversy and goes for the shocks (the opening sequence ironically states that this film is dedicated to all those who wish to see the return of capital punishment in Britain) but yet he doesn't stuff his movie with gratuitous sleaze or explicit violence. No, he merely reaches this effect by suggestive disturbance (the vicious hanging scene!) and – especially – the grim and ominous characters. Barbara Markham, otherwise a relatively unknown actress, is terrific as the sadistic and quite insane "head" of the prison and she receives excellent feedback from Sheila Keith as the charismatically cold warden Walker. Just as they would repeat it in the equally surprising successor "Frightmare", scenarists Walker and David McGillivray portray the women as the depraved lunatics while the men are weak and unable to interfere. Details that prove that Walker unquestionably was the most gifted independent British filmmaker of the early seventies and his twisted world perspective make him a favorite among cult-horror fanatics. Slightly negative aspects include that many, many scenes are underexposed and far too unclear to follow. Walker also could have made more out of the potential Gothic theme and bleak prison-surrounding. But now I'm just splitting heirs…"House of Whipcord" is an essential euroshock film, often regretfully mistaken for depthless sleaze. I highly recommend it to horror lovers that look for original and unusual stories.

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