Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)

87m 39s (UK – video), 91m, 8226 ft
35mm film, colour, 1.37:1
Reviewed at The

A British horror film directed by Curtis Harrington.

Plot Summary

Rosie Forrest, an eccentric but kindly widow (who keeps the mummified corpse of her daughter in her attic) regularly invites ten young from the local orphanage for a dinner. Brother and sister Christopher and Katy gatecrash the party and Rosie becomes obsessed with Katy who resembles her dead child. As their relationship develops, Christopher's jealousy leads him to suspect that Rosie is a witch and when he tries to lure Katy away from her, she reveals her true colours…


Directed by: Curtis Harrington
© American International Productions (England) Ltd. MCMLXXI [1971]
James H. Nicholson & Samuel Z. Arkoff present an American International/Hemdale production
Executive Producer: Louis M. Heyward
Produced by: Samuel Z. Arkoff & James H. Nicholson
Screenplay by: Robert Blees and James Sangster
Original Screen Story by: David Osborn
Additional Dialogue by: Gavin Lambert
Director of Photography: Desmond Dickinson
Film Editor: Tristam Cones
Music Composed & Conducted by: Kenneth V. Jones
Sound Recordists: Ken Ritchie, Richard Langford
Wardrobe Supervisor: Bridget Sellers
Make Up: Eddie Knight, Sylvia Croft
Hairdressing: Pat McDermott, Joyce James
Art Director: George Provis

Shelley Winters (Rosie Forrest)
Mark Lester (Christopher)
Ralph Richardson (Mr Benton)
Judy Cornwell (Clarine)
Michael Gothard (Albie)
Hugh Griffith as the pigman [Mr Harrison]
Lionel Jeffries as [Inspector] Willoughby
Chloe Franks as Katy
Rosalie Crutchley (Miss Henley)
Pat Heywood (Doctor Mason)
Richard Beaumont (Peter)
Jacqueline Cowper (Angela)
Marianne Stone (Miss Wilcox)
Charlotte Sayce (Katharine)

Alternative Titles

Chi giace nella culla di zia Ruth? – Italy
Dare ga Rû obasan o koroshita ka? – Japan
Fábula Macabra – Brazil
Gingerbread House – shooting title
Kanli balta – Iki kardes – Turkey
Mais qui a tué tante Roo? – France
Pepparkakshuset – vem slog ihjäl tant Roo? – Sweden
Poios skotose tin theia Roo? – Greece
Qui va matar la tieta Roo? – Spanish (Catalan)
¿Quién mató a tía Roo? – Spain
Satanika angeloudia – Greece
Wer hat Tante Ruth angezündet – West Germany
Who Slew Auntie Roo? – USA (advertising)

Production Notes

Production began at Shepperton Studios on 26 April 1971.



  • House of Hammer vol.1 no.1 (October 1976) p.4 – note (Stop press: Late news)
  • Kine Weekly vol.646 no.3312 (3 April 1971) p.13 – note (Production review: Studio round up by Rod Cooper)
  • Psychotronic no.16 pp.44, 45-46 – review
  • Video Watchdog no.14 pp.39-40, 51 – review


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror (2nd edition) p.245 – credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.218
  • Film Review 1972-73 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.236
  • by Walt Lee p.540 – credits
  • Ten Years of Terror: British Horror Films of the 1970s by Harvey Fenton and David Flint (eds.) p.129 – illustrated credits, review (by Nigel Burrell)
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.237