House Of Mortal Sin
About this deal
Valerie's parents are sitting watch the telly when their daughter walks in, goes upstairs and lobs herself out of the window, hitting the ground with a sickening thud. Having had a crack at the judiciary it was time for Pete Walker to turn his sights on the Catholic Church. First the boyfriend is beaten with an incense burner and then buried alive in a grave, then poor unlucky Bob is smothered in his hospital bed, Meldrum found reading him his last rites after doing the dirty deed. His style is certainly there, and his own Catholic background comes to the fore to caricature the church (via a dangerously repressed cleric) rather than (as many lapsed Catholics do) attack it.
When she tells Terry of Meldrum's actions, Terry tracks Meldrum down and threatens him, but Meldrum bludgeons Terry to death with an incense burner and buries him in a freshly dug grave in the churchyard. The performance of Anthony Sharp in particular, as the immoral and internally tortured priest, was outstanding. It does drag a teensy bit toward the end and a couple of plot points seem a bit stretched but the final 10 minutes are actually quite unpredictable and wrap things up quite nicely. I might try to make it to some of the other films available on Arrow Player before they are removed, but I don't think I'm going to have time. With films like FRIGHTMARE, HOUSE OF WHIPCORD (both 1974) and SCHIZO (1976) under their belt (THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW  and THE COMEBACK  are two of the very few of Walker's 70's horror films that McGillivray did not work on), each dealing with dark secrets and a hint that the Church may have too much power over everyone's life (both moral and professional), Pete Walker and David McGillivray made thinking-man's horror films of the 70's, even though they didn't skimp on the gore.A serious look at the theme of a respectable public person using their position to pass judgement on those they see as corrupt, done with elegance, wit and purposely indignant bad taste.
The jury's still out on House Of Mortal Sin (aka The Confessional), but you can't deny that it's entertaining. He's less than overjoyed, however, to find out about the blackmail: "Bugger the church authorities, I'm gonna sort 'im art meself!Anthony Sharp gives a good performance in his role as Father Xavier Meldrum, the priest whose actions make him a really unlikeable character, while Susan Penhaligon is decent as Jenny, the young woman who is determined to try and get away from the priest, but she knows it won’t be easy. That night, while Jenny is out, Meldrum gains entry to her flat and assaults her friend Robert, believing him to be Terry.
Best known as the home office minister in A Clockwork Orange, he had an extremely distinctive, instantly recognisable look and sound, with a ball-shaped head and massive hook nose, and the plummiest, most clipped English accent imaginable. In 1983, when Cushing acted in Walker's final film, The House of Long Shadows, Walker learned that Cushing actually liked the script, but had other film commitments. With a wretched priest on a war path believing himself to be an avenging angel it dives into a pool of religious hypocrisy and mad mental puritan delusion. At first, the priest stalks the girl, but later it is revealed that he will stop at nothing, including blackmail and murder, just to get close to her. House of Mortal Sin is similar to House of Whipcord, as Walker turns his sights on a priest who takes it upon himself to cleanse people of their sins.The pair make a suicide pact so that they can be together for ever, but after Brabazon fatally stabs herself, Meldrum hesitates. Looking north-east on The Green, Richmond in Greater London with Richmond Theatre in the centre distance. Fumbling with an A to Z as he steers, Father Bernard Cutler (Norman Eshley) drives through Richmond. For some strange reason, I always thought this was an alternate title for House of Whipcord so I never bothered to seek it out.