Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (1984)

USA, UK, 5 September 1984 – 9 May 1986
1 series, 13 episodes, average 90m
35mm, colour, 4:3
mono, English

An American/British horror television series producer by Hammer Film Productions for Twentieth Century-Fox. It was originally planned as a second series of 50m episodes to follow on from the successful Hammer House of Horror (1980) but were expanded to feature length so that they could be packaged as “movies of the week” in the USA. Because of the American involvement, American actors were usually cast in leading roles and the already moderate levels of sex and violence seen in the earlier series were toned down considerably.

Premise

A second anthology series of horror films from the Hammer stable. Not all of the episodes are genre, though some included supernatural elements. Only those episodes with notable genre elements are included here.

Credits

Regular Crew
© 1984 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Produced by Hammer Film Productions Limited
Executive Producer: Brian Lawrence
Produced by: Roy Skeggs

Episodes

* = uncredited

Mark of the Devil (5 September 1984)
Directed by: Val Guest
Screenplay by: Brian Clemens
Director of Photography: Frank Watts
Editor: Bob Dearberg
Music Composed by: David Bedford
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Tattooist: Barry Louvaine
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Dirk Benedict (Frank Rowlett); Jenny Seagrove (Sara Helston); George Sewell (Det. Inspector Grant); John Paul (Matt Helston); Tom Adams (Westcott); Burt Kwouk (Lee); Peter Settelen (Det. Inspector Kirby); James Ellis (Father Dowd); Reginald Marsh (Dr Melford); Michael Cronin (Pymar); Nicholas Field (Billy); Alibe Parsons (Momma Rose); Robert Oates (Hara); Maggie Rennie (Ma Perkins); Hugh Morton (butler); Marianne Sherman (butch girl); Robert Lee (Chong Woy); Hilary Crane (Carla); Tony Sibbald (Wilson); Roger Milner (registrar); Dinah May (sexy blonde); William Derrick (Hatfield); Anthony Chinn (Soo); Vernon Nesbeth (sick man)
Frank Rowlett is desperate to raise the stake for a poker game and tries to rob a tattoo parlour, killing the owner in the process. Frank wins the game but finds a small mark on his chest the next day. The dot grows larger and develops into a tattoo that gradually covers his entire body.
Tattoo
– working title

Last Video and Testament (12 September 1984)
Directed by: Peter Sasdy
Screenplay by: Roy Russell
Director of Photography: Brian West
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Supervisor: Philip Martell
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Deborah Raffin (Selena Frankham); David Langton (Victor Frankham); Oliver Tobias (Derek Tucker); Christopher Scoular (Truscott); Clifford Rose (Bennet); Shane Rimmer (Hersh); Barbara Keogh (Mrs Villiers); Geraldine Gardner (secretary); Shevaun Bryers (nurse); Hugh Dickson (superintendant); Michael Fleming (receptionist); Robert Rietty (Marcello); Norman Mitchell (commissionaire); Kenneth Nelson (Jack); Adam Richardson (minion); Wendy Seely (Linda); Maciej Karas (Helmut); Irene Prador (hotel guest)
Selena Frankham and her lover Derek Tucker murder Selena’s husband Victor. But Victor has a surprise for them even after death…

Child’s Play (8 October 1984)
Directed by: Val Guest
Screenplay by: Graham Wassell
Director of Photography: Frank Watts
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Composed by: David Bedford
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Janice Wilde
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Betty Sherriff
Art Director: Heather Armitage
Cast: Mary Crosby (Ann Preston); Nicholas Clay (Mike Preston); Debbie Chasan (Sarah Preston); Suzanne Church (mother); Joanna Joseph (child)
A family becomes trapped in their own home by a brick wall that seems to have appeared overnight. With water and telephone cut off and strange symbols appearing on their television set, the family struggle to survive while a mysterious green blob begins to menace them.

The Corvini Inheritance (15 October 1984)
Directed by: Gabrielle Beaumont
Screenplay by: David Fisher
Director of Photography: Frank Watts
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Composed by: David Bedford
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Betty Sherriff
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: David McCallum (Frank Lane); Jan Francis (Eva Bailey); Terence Alexander (Hammond); Stephen Yardley (Stanley Knowles); Paul Bacon (Roulier); Timothy Morand (Collier); Mollie Maureen (elderly lady [Courtney]); Leonard Trolley (Viner); Robert Swales ([Gordon] Brophy); Benedick Blythe (Bob [Fraser]); Marianne Borgo (Madame Roulier); Johnny Wade (taxi driver); Peter Attard (Williams); Kirstie Pooley (1st female model); Ruth Burnett (2nd female model); Peter Rumney (jogger); Martin Weedon (business man); Ben Pietelson (T.V. director); Christian Fletcher (Geoff – male model)
When a stalker attacks one of his neighbours, surveillance specialist Frank Lane tries to catch the attacker on CCTV but makes a horrifying discovery – the stalker appears to be Frank himself.

In Possession (22 October 1984)
Directed by: Val Guest
Screenplay by: Michael J. Bird
Director of Photography: Brian West
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Composed by: Paul Patterson
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Carol Lynley (Sylvia Daly); Christopher Cazenove (Frank Daly); David Healey (Jack Mervyn); Judy Loe (Betty Mervyn); Bernard Kay (Mr [Donald] Prentice); Vivienne Burgess (Mrs [Jessica] Prentice); Brendan Price (paranormal research scientist); Peter Bland (policeman [Ted Wheeler]); Hugh Sullivan (director); Marianne Stone (woman downstairs); Anthony Morton (maitre d’); John D. Collins (estate agent); Carl Rigg (hotel manager); David Auker (removal man); Sarah Porter (daughter); Donna Scarf (hotel receptionist)
Frank and Sylvia Daly are haunted by the ghosts of a man and a woman engaged in an act of murder which is repeated over and over during the course of a single night.

Paint Me a Murder (29 October 1984)
Directed by: Alan Cooke
Screenplay by: Jesse Lasky Jnr. & Pat Silver
Director of Photography: Frank Watts
Editor: Bob Dearberg
Music Composed by: Francis Shaw
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Betty Sherriff
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Michelle Phillips (Sandra Lorenz); James Laurensen (Luke Lorenz); David Robb (Vincent Rhodes); Alan Lake (Davey); Morgan Sheppard (Mahaffy); Tony Steedman (Chief Inspector); Mark Heath (Detective Inspector Robinson); Michael Watkins (Detective Sergeant Harris); Michael McKevitt (Elliott Soames); Richard LeParmentier (Dr Kates); Gerald Sim (vicar); Indira Joshi (Mrs Patel); Jeillo Edwards (landlady); David Millett (police sergeant); Neil Morrissey (policeman); Peggy Aitchison (bag lady); Lynn Clayton (secretary)
Following the death of artist Luke Lorenz, his widow Sandra makes available a large collection of previously unknown paintings. But is Luke really dead? And if he is, who exactly is creating this apparently inexhaustible supply of paintings?

A Distant Scream (5 November 1984)
Directed by: John Hough
Screenplay by: Martin Worth
Director of Photography: Brian West
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Composed by: Paul Patterson
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: David Carradine (Michael/Harris); Stephanie Beacham (Rosemary Richardson); Stephen Greif (Clifford Richardson); Stephan Chase (Gary); Fanny Carby (Mrs Kimble); Lesley Dunlop (Sarah Kimble); Bernard Horsfall (doctor); Ewan Stuart (Robin Kimble); Edward Peel (prison officer)
On his deathbed an old man is offered the chance to relive weekend when his lover was murdered, a crime he was wrongly imprisoned for.

Black Carrion (12 November 1984)
Directed by: John Hough
Screenplay by: Don Houghton
Director of Photography: Brian West
Editor: Bob Dearberg
Music Composed by: Paul Patterson
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Season Hubley (Cora Berlaine); Leigh Lawson (Paul Chater); Norman Bird (Henry Bircher); Allan Love (Ray Verne); Diana King (Madge Bircher); Julian Littman (Ron Verne); William Hootkins (Lou Delmart); Christopher Ellison ([Sergeant] Drury); Oscar Quitak (estate manager); Daphne Goddard ([Miss] Elsie [Barrett]); Robert Morgan (mate); Forbes Collins (landlord); John Patrick (police sergeant [Wilson]); Linda Hayden (Ellen [Jarvis]); Peter Polycarpou (driver [Charlie]); Geoffrey Leesley (first constable); Alan Stuart (frogman); Jessica Marshall-Gardiner (little girl); Diana Malin (secretary)
Freelance journalist Paul Chater is investigating the reclusive 60s pop singers Ray and Ron Verne and discovers that they’re living in a remote country mansion. But when he and his girlfriend finally get to meet the brothers they find that they’ve been living a strange and macabre lifestyle in their years of seclusion.

And the Wall Came Tumbling Down (19 November 1984)
Directed by: Paul Annett
Screenplay by: Dennis Spooner and John Peacock
Director of Photography: Frank Watts
Editor: Bob Dearberg
Music Composed by: Anthony Payne
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Betty Sherriff
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Barbi Benton (Caroline Trent); Gareth Hunt (Peter Whiteway); Brian Deacon (Alan/Martin Yardley); Peter Wyngarde (Daniel/General Haswell); Pat Hayes (Gran Waters); Carol Royle (Kim [Osborn]/Catherine Parkes); Ralph Michael (Father Harris); Gary Waldhorn (Inspector Crane); Robert James (Father Ambrey/Packard); Richard Hampton ([Ted] Pinder/David Pritchard); Angela Grant (Jill); Ray Armstrong (Sergeant Mills); Peter Baldwin ([Dr. H.] Talbot); Jona Jones (policeman); Tim Pearce (Brinkley/Robert Ford); Michael Kingsbury (Police Constable Hopkins); Christopher Farries (military aide); Peter Macklin|Peter Macklen (military policeman); Simon Sutton (male nurse); Danny McCarthy (press photographer)
A seventeenth-century church is being demolished but work is temporarily halted following the freak death of one of the workmen. Conservationist Caroline Trent is trying to save the church and discovers that it was once the site of a devil worshipping cult whose leader was walled up in the church itself. Now he’s free and looking for revenge.

The Late Nancy Irving (26 November 1984)
Directed by: Peter Sasdy
Screenplay by: David Fisher
Director of Photography: Brian West
Editor: Bob Dearberg
Music Composed by: Paul Glass
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Christina Raines (Nancy Irving); Marius Goring (Aragon); Simon Williams (Bob Appleyard); Tony Anholt (Dr Marquis); Zienia Merton (Nurse Lee); Mick Ford (Tony Graham); Tom Chadbon (young doctor); Lewis Fiander (Hoffman); Michael Elwyn (Peter Norton); Ben Robertson (Nurse Baines); Derek Benfield (undertaker); Christopher Banks (vicar); Tony Millan (caddy); David Rose (policeman); Monique de Sain (Anne); Joy Lemoine (nurse)
American golf professional Nancy Irving is touring Britain when she comes to the attention of a millionaire who will die unless he gets a blood transfusion. He has a very rare blood type which Nancy shares and he sends some thugs to abduct her and fake her death. Trapped in his mansion, Nancy struggles to find a way out.

Czech Mate (3 December 1984)
Directed by: John Hough
Screenplay by: Jeremy Burnham
Director of Photography: Brian West
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Composed by: John McCabe
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Susan George (Vicky Duncan); Patrick Mower (John Patrick Duncan); Richard Heffer (Roger Brown); Peter Vaughan (Bullneck); Stefan Gryff (inspector); Sandor Elès (2nd desk clerk); Catherine Neilson (Marie Vladekova); George Mikell (plains clothes policeman); Hana-Maria Pravda (Mrs Pircek); Jirí Stanislav (Ivan Jiracek); Robert Russell (security guard 1); Steve Plytas (head waiter); Pam St. Clements (doctor); Jeremy Burnham (producer); Christopher Rozycki (immigration officer); Mark Malicz (Porter); Tessa Wojtczak (girl on bridge); Daniel Wozniak (man on Bridge); Robert East (1st desk clerk); Christopher Robbie (General Neruda); Roy Boyd (Stefan Jiracek); Pat Gorman [man at bar] *
Vicky’s ex-husband John as disappeared in Prague and she finds herself caught up in an espionage plot.

Sweet Scent of Death (17 December 1984)
Directed by: Peter Sasdy
Screenplay by: Brian Clemens
Directors of Photography: Frank Watts, Brian West
Editor: Robert C. Dearberg
Music Composed by: John McCabe
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Daphne Volmer
Art Director: Carolyn Scott
Cast: Dean Stockwell (Greg Denver); Shirley Knight (Ann Fairfax Denver); Michael Gothard (Terry Marvin); Carmen Du Sautoy (Suzy Kendrick); Robert Lang (Detective Sergeant Wells); Alan Gifford (John Fairfax); Toria Fuller (Paula); Struan Rodger (Detective Constable Gray); Andrew Seear (Michael Patson); Ray Charleson (Marine officer); Kenny Andrews (Marine Sergeant Judd); Lindsay Holiday (Tanzi); Russell Sommers (young man); Erin Donovan (young girl); Christopher Warrick (boy in park); Mary Greco (girl in park); Geoffrey Colville (estate agent)
The American ambassador to the UK takes his wife to a country mansion where they are stalked by a man from her past.

Tennis Court (17 December 1984)
Directed by: Cyril Frankel
Screenplay by: Andrew Sinclair
Based on a Short Story by: Michael Hastings
Director of Photography: Frank Watts
Editor: Peter Weatherley
Music Composed by: David Bedford
Sound Recordists: John Bramall, Eddie Haben
Costume Supervisor: Laura Nightingale
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdresser: Betty Sherriff
Art Director: Heather Armitage
Cast: Peter Graves (John Bray); Hannah Gordon (Maggie Dowl); Jonathan Newth (Harry [Dowl]); Cyril Shaps ([Dr] Magnusson); Ralph Arliss (Redmond Maryott); Isla Blair (Eileen); George Little ([Inspector] Eldridge); Marcus Gilbert (young [John] Bray); Peggy Sinclair (matron); Annis Joslin (Innes [Bray]); David Chessman (Bobby)
Maggie and Harry Dowl inherit a house with its own indoor tennis court – which turns out to haunted by the ghosts of those who died nearby during a second world war air raid.

Alternative Titles

Fox Mystery Theatre – USA
Histoires singulières – France

See also
Hammer House of Horror (1980)

References

Periodicals

  • Cinefantastique vol.15 no.1 (January 1985) p.13 – review
  • Dark Terrors no.7 (October – December 1993) pp.26-32 – illustrated credits, synopsis, article
  • Screen International no.419 (5 November 1983) p.51 – credits
  • Screen International no.452 (30 June 1984) pp.13, 14 – review

Books

  • The Complete Directory to Science Fiction and Horror Television Series pp.325-326 – credits, episode guide
  • English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby p.237 (Richmond, UK: Reynolds & Hearn Ltd (2000)) – note
  • Hammer Complete: The films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.351-361 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Hammer Films: The Elstree Studio Years by Wayne Kinsey pp.421-423
  • The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes 174-175; 190-191