The Ghoul (1975 film)

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For the 1933 Boris Karloff Film The Ghoul, see The Ghoul. For the television host character known as The Ghoul, see Ron Sweed.
The Ghoul
The Ghoul (1975)dvd.jpg
UK VHS cover
Directed by Freddie Francis
Produced by Kevin Francis
Written by Anthony Hinds
Starring Peter Cushing
John Hurt
Veronica Carlson
Music by Harry Robertson
Cinematography John Wilcox
Edited by Henry Richardson
Distributed by Tyburn Film Productions
Release date(s) 1975
Running time 93 min (Uncut theatrical release). 88 min/80 min (2002 DVD unauthorized release)
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Ghoul is a 1975 British Tyburn Film Productions horror film starring Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, John Hurt and Alexandra Bastedo. In the United States, the film was released as Night Of The Ghoul and The Thing In The Attic.

Plot[edit]

In 1920s England, a group of upper-class people 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, but takes so long that Daphne strikes out on her own. She eventually locates a rural estate owned by Dr. Lawrence, a former priest. He receives her kindly and sends his rodent-like gardener, Tom, to find Billy. Tom finds and murders Billy, and pushes the car into a ravine; it is implied that he acted on his employer's orders.

Meanwhile Dr. Lawrence tells Daphne about a trip his family took to India; his experiences with certain cults there so horrified him that he renounced religion in general. This decision was heavily influenced by the fate of his wife and son, who were converted to a new faith by a local nobleman. The former was afterwards so horrified by the things she had done that she committed suicide. Still waiting for Billy, Daphne falls asleep in a guest room. Seeing this, the doctor's Indian housekeeper, Ayah, goes to the house's attic and lets out a bloated, bloodstained man in a priest's mantle. He kills Daphne with a sacrificial knife, and Ayah ritually cooks the girl's flesh for him to eat.

The first couple's friends, Geoffrey and Angela, learn of Billy's death from the police and set out on a private mission to find Daphne. They too wreck their car in the fog and are separated in the search for help. Angela locates the Lawrence estate first, and is abducted by Tom, who obviously hopes to rape her. When Dr. Lawrence discovers her presence, he reluctantly decides to offer her as another sacrifice to the ghoul in his attic. She is saved from molestation when Tom is sent out to get rid of Geoffery, who also found the house and was convinced by Dr. Lawrence that Angela and Daphne were both conveyed safely back to town.

Tom botches the attempt to kill Geoffrey, and is half sucked into a bog in his attempt to flee. Ordered to explain himself before he is rescued, he admits that Daphne was fed to something living in Lawrence's house. Geoffery returns to the estate and 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 adherent who came from India to prepare his food. The agonized Lawrence has tended to and protected his son because he promised his wife he would do so.

Geoffrey barges into the attic and confronts the ghoul, who kills him. Meanwhile Tom sneaks into the room where Angela is imprisoned and again tries to assault her. He is interrupted and killed by the ghoul, who has gotten out of control. The creature rounds on Angela, but Lawrence enters with a pistol and fatally wounds it. Angela runs screaming from the house. Dr. Lawrence, his heart broken by what has happened, goes to his study and shoots himself through the head.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

This was the second film produced by Tyburn Film Productions. It was shot on location at Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England from 4 March 1974.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema, Reynolds & Hearn 200

External links[edit]