Post by jno on Aug 5, 2015 21:29:47 GMT
Now then, I wouldn't normally review what was once classed as a video nasty/X-Rated film here, but this one does have three faces in it who appeared in Minder in significant roles and when I saw all three were in it I just had to have a watch. This is not normally the sort of the thing I tune into I hasten to add. The alternative name for this 1976 film is 'The House on Straw Hill' and was kindly given to me by another member here.
Firstly, Linda Hayden (who is no stranger to 70s horror movies and/or sex comedies) is in it. In 'Minder On The Orient Express' she plays Terry's girlfriend Annie - the girl whose ticket Arthur gets hold in order to get on the train with Terry. She is also a well known face for Professionals fans too appearing in 'Black Out' and lots of Hammer movies. She is no stranger to showing off her body in films during the 1970s that's for sure.
Here she is in 'Minder On The Orient Express' as a little reminder.
Secondly there is Karl Howman, also in 'Minder On The Orient Express' and 'All About Scoring Innit?' and a very well known face. Last of all there is Patsy Smart - she is the little old lady Mrs. Foskitt with the back garden that DC Taff Jones watches from in series 6's 'Give Us This Day Arthur Daley's Bread'. She has been in load of other stuff over the years too.
It is quite clear why this film was banned in the UK back in the day but by today's standards it probably isn't as bad as some things out there. Admittedly though this film has it all and is well worthy of its 'nasty' status I think. It is most certainly not for the faint hearted or easily offended as it includes: sex, stabbing, shot guns, blood, a rape scene, lesbian scenes, masterbation, lots of full nudity, corpses hanging about, throat slitting, a Morris Minor being driven at speed (not so bad) and 70s adult 'glamour' star Fiona Richmond ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiona_Richmond ) getting her clothes off quite frequently.
Well, despite the graphic content (which starts off with Fiona Richmond getting her clothes off in the first few minutes) there isn't actually a bad story going on throughout this film and about 15 minutes in I was still wondering if this a masterpiece or the biggest pile of rubbish I've ever seen, so I decided to stick with it and it turned out to be neither. The story is centred around author Paul Martin, played by German Udo Kier.
One IMDB reviewer has mentioned the following about the male lead and I have to totally agree with this: It's debatable as to whether or not Kier actually has any acting talent, but he certainly has screen presence and for that reason alone, his films are always worth seeing. For me, he is certainly very weird in this where he plays is in need of a secretary to help him write a follow up novel to his initial best seller. Enter Linda Hayden's character, who surprisingly is called Linda, who I must say looks very nice in this (left picture). Throughout the course of the film, we soon learn there is far more to Linda and Paul Martin than we first thought and despite the 'nasty' and X-rated elements, I did want to get to the end to see what transpires.
If you can live with all the 'nasty' X-rated stuff mentioned above, this has a few twists and turns and is actually not a bad story, but like I say, if you are easily offended stay well away from it. I have purposely not gone into details here as not to give any SPOLIERS away - this is essentially what could be classed as a 'gory you know what thriller' - the rape scene I found particularly difficult viewing and this could probably have been tamed down a little as I felt it was not necessary to be as detailed as it was for the story to continue.
One thing does amaze me about this and for those who have seen it you will know what I mean. Let's just say the final appearance of Karl Howman in this seemed a very poor way to proceed with the story, particularly due to the time between then and the previous time we had seen him.
Overall, not a bad effort, but keep well away if you are easily offended. For me, it is 6/10 - it's OK, not a classic and I probably would have given it a 7 but sometimes the graphic scenes were just not necessary in my opinion - too much gore and sex which seems to take over what is a pretty predictable storyline.