House on Straw Hill (1976)
Directed by James Kenelm Clarke

Starring Fiona Richmond Linda Hayden Udo Kier

Underrated '70s thriller, this movie was badmouthed by starlet Linda Hayden who was forced to do perhaps one or two too many sex scenes for it. But it actually has a pretty decent story -- so good, in fact, that it was being remade under its other title, as "Expose", in 2009.

A dubbed Udo Kier stars as an author who has rented a house in the English countryside to write his new novel under deadline. He has incredibly bizarre, kinky sex with his housekeeper/girlfriend -- the kind that requires you to wear rubber gloves -- but the sex is ruined by bloody visions he has of him either murdering someone or committing suicide.

He hires Hayden as a typist so he can dictate his novel, not type it, and gives her a room in the house. Things get stranger as Hayden repeatedly masturbates to a picture of an ex-lover (Kier peeps in on herdoing the deed once). When two townsfolk rape her in a field at gunpoint, Hayden gets the upper hand and kills them both. To make matters worse, some of Kier's hired help start dying one by one by knife point.

What the hell is going on? That's the mystery -- and it's an OK one, certainly not a great one. "House on Straw Hill" is stronger as an exploitation film, and deserved the DVD release it never had. It was announced for one in 2005, but it didn't come to fruition. Perhaps with teh release of the remake this one will finally see the light of day again. It did make it to VHS in the '80s.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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