Exposé aka Trauma aka House on Straw Hill (1976)

directed by James kenelm clarke
Norfolk International Pictures

FINALLY, a movie that will permit me to use the term “amanuensis” correctly. One that is basically a softcore flick with a few dodgy killings thrown in the mix, along with some largely meaningless flashbacks. Linda Hayden plays Linda Hindstatt, the amanuensis to a bestselling author, and it seems somebody has some shady secrets, or something. (Also, sex.) Various characters get “murdered” by a knife slashing at the camera or eliminated via shotgun; neither method is convincing. This potboiler was nearing its portentous conclusion by the time I realized the amanuensis was being portrayed by the very same actress who appeared as the naked teenage consort of the demon in The Blood on Satan’s Claw – which I probably shoulda realized sooner – so that was pretty exciting. The ending of this picture is not only a letdown and a cop-out, but uncreditable for various reasons, not the least of which being the immediately preceding action.

why did i watch this movie?

Now that I think about it, I first must have encountered the tale of this tawdry affair when writing my review of “Satan’s Skin,” and the title resurfaced when I was browsing through the “Stalking and Harassment” section at the, uh, video store.

should you watch this movie?

Supposedly, Ms. Hayden rues the final version of this romp, differing wildly as it does from what she had expected during its production. Given her scenes, you’ll have a fine time imagining just what kinda film she thought she was making.

highlight and low point

I found myself enjoying some of the random camera shots a little too much; along with several cliché elements, the effect produced is the cinematic version of a paint-by-numbers kit. The key characters are very dramatic.

rating from outer space: c−

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