The Beast in the Cellar (1970)

88m (USA), 101m (UK)
35mm film, Eastmancolor, 1.66:1
mono, English

A British horror film directed by James Kelly. It was shot as Are You Dying, Young Man and the new title seems to have come late in the day as it was still listed in the British trade papers under its working title even when being edited and dubbed at Pinewood studios in April 1970 1Today's Cinema no.9799 (28 April 1970) p.10.

Plot Summary

In the Lancashire countryside, something is slaughtering local and the police are at a loss as to what to do. They suspect it might be a wild animal of some sort – but there's something in the cellar of the house owned by eccentric sisters, Ellie and Joyce, something that's been down there for a very long time and which is now on the loose…


Directed by: James Kelly
© Tigon British Film Productions Ltd. and Leander Films Ltd. MCMLXX [1970]
A Tigon British Film Productions in association with Leander Films. A Tigon release
Executive Producer: Tony Tenser
Produced by: Graham Harris
Associate Producer: Christopher Neame
Original Screenplay by: James Kelly
Directors of Photography: Harry Waxman and Desmond Dickinson
Editor: Nicholas Napier-Bell
Music by: Tony Macaulay
Sound Mixer: Tony Dawe
Wardrobe Mistress: Mary Gibson
Make-up: W.T. Partleton
Hairdresser: Olga Angelinetta
Art Director: Roger King
Made at Pinewood Studios, London, England

Beryl Reid (Ellie Ballantyne)
Flora Robson (Joyce Ballantyne)
Tessa Wyatt (Nurse Joanna Sutherland)
John Hamill (Corporal Alan Marlow)
T.P.McKenna (Detective Chief Superintendent Paddick)
David Dodimead (Dr Spencer)
Vernon Dobtcheff (Newsmith)
John Kelland (Sergeant Young)
Anthony Heaton (Anderson)
Christopher Chittell (Baker)
Peter Craze (Roy)
Anabel Littledale (Gloria)
Dafydd Havard (Stephen Ballantyne)
Gail Lidstone (young Ellie)
Elizabeth Choice (young Joyce)
Merlin Ward (young Stephen)
Howard Rawlinson (young soldier)
Roberta Tovey (paper girl)
Robert Wilde (soldier in NAAFI)
Reg Lever (ambulance man)

Alternative Titles

Are You Dying, Young Man? – working title
The Cellar – working title
Ihmispeto – Finnish title
Der Keller – German title
Las perversas solteronas – Spanish title
Young Man, I Think You're Dying – working title



  • b vol.18 no.205 (October 1971) pp.57-58 – credits, review
  • Filmfacts vol.14 no.9 (1971) p.196 – credits, reprinted reviews
  • Flesh and Blood no.2 p.17 – credits, review
  • Kine Weekly no.3257 (14 March 1970) p.17 – illustrated article (Production: Where is the link between: Two cosy spinsters and a mutilated corpse? by Rod Cooper
  • Kine Weekly no.3321 (5 June 1971) p.8 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.38 no.450 (July 1971) p.136 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Today's Cinema no.9784 (3 March 1970) p.9 – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9799 (28 April 1970) p.10 – credits (Post production)
  • Today's Cinema no.9909 (28 May 1971) p.8 – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.216
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Darrell Buxton p.unpaginated – note
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Eric McNaughton and Darrell Buxton (eds.) pp.12-13 – illustrated review (by Kevin Hoxsey)
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.39 – credits
  • by Walt Lee p.27 – credits
  • Ten Years of Terror: British Horror Films of the 1970s by Harvey Fenton and David Flint (eds) pp.14-15 – illustrated credits, reviews (by Matthew Coniam and Jonathan Sothcott)