24 April 2014

The Confessional (1975)
103 min.
Directed by Pete Walker.
With Anthony Sharp, Susan Penhaligon, Stephanie Beacham, Norman Eshley, Sheila Keith, Hilda Barry, Stuart Bevan, Julia McCarthy, Jon Yule.
From the director of Frightmare (1974) comes this intriguing Catholic slasher.

Creepy Father Meldrum tapes his parishioners' confessions and then uses the tapes to blackmail his poor sheep. But when the extortion attempts don't work out to his liking, the priest becomes a psychotic murderer!

Soon the guilty sinners are meeting gruesome ends via a scalding pot of tea, a bloody beating with a flaming censer, strangulation by rosary, poisoned communion wafers...and more.

The captivating premise is well-executed and maintains a dark interest throughout, supported by interesting performances (especially Sheila Keith as Meldrum's devoted love). Genre director Walker is genuinely capable of creating gritty atmospherics and adeptly employs intriguing performers to keep the action flowing.

Known alternately either as The Confessional Murders or as House of Mortal Sin.

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