24 February 2024
Straight on Till Morning (1972)
96 min.
Directed by Peter Collinson.
With Rita Tushingham, Shane Briant, Tom Bell, Harold Berens, James Bolam, John Clive, Katya Wyeth, Annie Ross, Claire Kelly, Tommy Godfrey, Mavis Villiers.
This adept thriller was cleverly billed as "a love story from Hammer."

Brenda Thompson (Tushingham) is a shy, plain girl from Liverpool who lives with her mother and who feels her life is going nowhere.

So she moves to London, gets a job in a trendy boutique, and and takes an apartment with swinging sexpot Caroline (Wyeth).

But there's only one thing missing: a boyfriend. Brenda comes up with a plan. She kidnaps the pet dog of a handsome neighbor named Peter (Briant), with the goal of returning the dog to her Prince Charming and introducing herself.

It works! Brenda and Peter strike up a romantic relationship and soon the two are living together.

There's only one problem. Peter is a stark raving mad, murderous, misogynistic psycho. Turns out he has an uncontrollable urge to kill all things beautiful...and Brenda may be next on his list!

Peter and Brenda are an utterly odd couple to watch, lending Straight on Till Morning a good bit of its curious appeal.

The performances from Tushingham (A Taste of Honey) and Briant (in his film debut here) are exceptionally well done, spiked by some nice bits of stark violence, and a brave, downbeat ending.

Briant would go on to star in a number of other Hammer horrors such as Demons of the Mind and Captain Kronos.

P.S. Poor little Tinker.

The title itself refers to the directions to Neverland in Peter Pan, a fairy tale the decidedly warped lady-killer Peter seems to admire.

Also known as Dressed for Death and also Til Dawn Do Us Part.

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