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Norman J. Warren Collection, The

Review by: 
Blackgloves
Release Date: 
1976-80
Studio: 
Anchor Bay UK
Genre: 
Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
0 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.33:1
Directed by: 
Norman J. Warren
Cast: 
Various
Movie: 
4
Extras: 
5
Bottom Line: 
5

 Throughout the Sixties and up to the mid-Seventies, British horror was virtually synonymous with the names "Hammer" and "Amicus". For a time, the two production companies dominated the British film industry, with Hammer's instantly recognisable brand of period Gothic and the highly successful anthology format of Amicus earning world-wide appreciation and massive box-office returns. By the mid-70s though, the bottom was beginning to fall out of the British film industry. At home, the starchy Hammer style was beginning to feel old-hat as the mainstream horror market was being completely overrun with hard-hitting excess from America in the form of groundbreaking horror films such as "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and "The Exorcist". Meanwhile, European markets were awash with films from the likes of producers such as Harry Alan Towers and directors like Spanish maverick, Jess Franco -- who took a much more liberal attitude to sex and gore than either Hammer or Amicus were ever able to accommodate. Amicus producers, Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky never even considered trying to compete in this arena and their professional partnership crumbled as the huge box office returns of their initial hits became harder and harder to emulate. Hammer films tried vainly to spice up their formula by adding a little - extremely reticent - titillation here and there; or by transporting Christopher Lee's Dracula to a contemporary 70s setting; but they never really showed much imagination or flair for it — and Hammer's films came to look increasingly flat.
But there was another strain of British horror movie, on the margins of the British film Industry, which were the product of independent young eager-beavers such as producer Tony Tenser and directors like Norman J. Warren and Pete Walker; they took up the gauntlet laid down by their European and Japanese distributors and managed to make distinctive, yet quintessentially British low-budget horror movies which fully embraced the blood-soaked, sleazy excesses of their continental cousins! In their continuing homage to British horror, Anchor Bay UK unleash the next in their series of coffin-shaped box sets (the first was their excellent Amicus Collection -- and Tigon films and Peter Walker sets will follow next year). This time, their subject is that little heralded, but always enthusiastic doyen of independent sex 'n' gore horror flicks: the redoubtable Norman J. Warren! The director has collaborated fully with Anchor Bay (even producing the copious extras for this collection himself!) and the result is surely one of the DVD events of the year for fans of British and Euro-shock cinema!
 
1976 saw the release of two films that perfectly illustrate the difference between the traditional "Hammer" style of old and the spirit of the younger generation of British horror movie makers: both films were contemporary occult thrillers, dealing with Satanism and riding on the back of the success of "The Exorcist". But while Hammer's "To the Devil...A Daughter" saw Chris Lee, Denholm Elliottt and Richard Widmark desperately trying to look convinced by the brief flashes of gore and peek-a-boo full-frontal nudity (courtesy of a very young Nastassja Kinski) lightly frosting an otherwise average (but in retrospect, still rather enjoyable) Hammer adventure, Norman J. Warren's "Satan's Slave" took the refined English Gothic style of Hammer films by the scruff of the neck and crammed it with full-blooded, continental-style sleaze, and some of the most brutally sadistic gore scenes in 70s British horror! And, what do ya know? The result is absolutely fantastic!
 
Candace Glendenning plays Catherine York: an ordinary young woman who takes a trip with her parents to visit an Uncle in his remote home in the country. However, the trip takes a rather unpleasant turn when her mother loses control of their car and crashes into a tree! Catherine leaves her parents sitting in the broken-down car while she goes to look for help, but there is a tremendous explosion and she turns to see the car burst into flames with her parents still inside! She faints and wakes up in the home of her Uncle York (Michael Gough) who lives with his son, Stephen (Martin Potter) and their secretary Frances (Barbara Kellerman). With both of her parents dead, Catherine is in shock and her uncle decides she should live with them in their stately home on the edge of a forest while she recovers. However tensions between Francis and Stephen seem to be running high and when he and Catherine begin a relationship, things become even worse. Then Catherine starts having disturbing visions of Satanic orgies; and a walk in the forest sparks a vision of a woman being whipped by some devil hunters in 17th century England. It soon becomes apparent that her Uncle does not want her to leave the house and is resorting to all sorts of tricks to get her to stay. What is behind the increasingly strange behaviour of the occupants of the house? And what does it have to do with Uncle York's deceased wife?
 
"Satan's Slave" stands at the cross-roads of British Horror: very obviously indebted to Hammer and Amicus in it's general approach -- with an extremely talky story-line by Warren's frequent collaborator, David McGillivary, and a lush, English country house setting where British horror stalwart Michael Gough (whose services were bought for the princely sum of £300!) paces around antique-filled rooms and hallways with the commanding dignity of a weathered British thespian -- the film, nevertheless, quickly lets the viewer know that they are going to get much more than just a tasteful, Gothic romp: after an opening Satanic sacrifice (with the film's associate producer gamely stepping in to play the nude sacrificial victim) we're given a brutal rape scene and a particularly nasty killing in quick succession. Then the film's heroine, played by a petit Candace Glendenning -- who, for a time, looked like she could have been a major British scream queen but has since disappeared from the Industry altogether and is probably unaware of her burgeoning cult status -- leaves her boyfriend, who lives in an ugly sixties-style tower block, and travels to Michael Gough's ornate mansion set near a lush English forest ... and it looks like we are back in Hammer territory once more. But the film is a perfectly judged, schizophrenic compromise between Euro-sleaze and British class; and if you happen to like both, then it is difficult to imagine a more enjoyable exercise than this -- it is probably still Warren's best film!
 
The director assembled a small collaborative group of people around him, who he would go on to work with again and again. Production designer, Hayden Pearce does a marvelous job of recreating the Hammer/Amicus vibe on even more of a shoestring budget than either of those companies had to work with themselves, and Producer, Les Young doubles very effectively as the film's lighting photographer since he had already acted as camera operator for classic AIP flicks such as the Gordon Hessler directed "Scream And Scream Again" and "Cry Of The Banshee". The film is punctuated by bouts of the kind of unashamed sleaziness that is usually mostly reserved for Jess Franco films (there was even a near-pornographic murder scene shot for the Japanese market which was to be included as an extra on this box set but which was, unfortunately, nixed by the BBFC at the last moment!) -- and, despite the low budget, many of the brutal murder scenes wouldn't look out of place in a Fulci gore flick! There are some particularly noteworthy moments which include a woman having her head slammed in a heavy oak door and then being slashed to ribbons with a knife; a woman slashed with a piece of broken glass and then nailed to a door via a kitchen knife through the mouth; and a cringe-worthy piece of graphic, Fulci-esque eye violence involving a nail file! Warren wound the whole thing up with a -- still-unexpected -- shock twist. Although it runs slow and is very talky at times, this just makes the sex 'n' gore all the more effective when it finally appears since it seems to run so counter to the reserved British aesthetic of the movie. With the reliable Michael Gough turning in a sinister performance and Martin Potter alternating between romantic lead and crazed maniac with alarming ease, "Satan's Slave" is a bona fide British cult classic and it is great to see Anchor Bay UK giving it (and Warren) the royal treatment here.
 
The disc in this box set presents the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Like all the other films, the transfer was overseen by Norman Warren, but it looks like he may have found it difficult to find all the elements for the film in a comparable state: the video quality varies from very good to quite washed out and grainy-looking, and the soundtrack occasionally exhibits bouts of popping and crackling; but these problems are fairly brief and don't detract too much from the overall quality of the disc. All of the discs in the set give you the choice of three audio tracks: the original 2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround sound, and an optional DTS track. I'd give the combined audio & Video quality of this disc 7 out of ten.
 
"Satan's Slave" scores very highly on the extras front and is lavished with considerably more attention than most of the other films in the set (which still get plenty themselves). A theatrical trailer is included, and two deleted scenes (an extended version of the dream sequence and the cut "tea party" scene) both with commentary from Norman J. Warren. The scenes are in black & white because the production could not afford colour work prints, and they are without sound because the magnetic tapes have since disintegrated! Neither of these sequences were cut for censorship reasons but purely because they slowed down the pace of the film too much.
 
A fifteen minute behind the scenes film -- which looks like it was produced at the same time as the actual movie -- called "All You Need Is Blood" comes next, and shows us the incredibly young crew at work while giving us a look at how some of the gory special effects were achieved. Next, a thirteen minute film called "The Devil's Music", produced by Warren himself, consists of an interview with composer John Scott -- who talks about scoring the movie and the bizarre and inventive instrumentation he was forced to use because of the low budget of the film. Scott obviously still has tremendous affection for the movie which shows through in this film.
 
Finally, Norman J. Warren is joined by scriptwriter David McGillivary (who can be seen playing two characters in several cameo appearances in the film) for an entertaining commentary track. Warren's infectious enthusiasm for horror films in general, and this film in particular, is very evident and is looked upon with wry amusement by his embarrassed companion, who confesses to not being able to remember much about this, or any of the films he worked on during the period! The two seem to be getting along fine though and by the end, McGillivary seems to have developed a hesitant appreciation for the dodgy things his younger self got up to!
 
The year after "Satan's Slave", Warren was offered an ultra-low-budget project by producer, Terry Marcel (assistant director on "Straw Dogs" and later, a tv director for British series' such as "Bergerac" and "Heartbeat"). The British film industry was now virtually stagnant and "Prey" became one of only a handful of movies to go into production that month. Based on a story idea by Max Cuff and Quinn Donoghue, the film entered its severe, ten day shoot with a budget of £50.000 and no finished script! However, it did sport a topflight professional crew, who had just finished working together on "The Pink Panther Strikes Again", and who immediately went on to join Warren for this eccentric tale of lesbian lust, madness and alien invasion!
 
The film is a peculiar Polanski-esque character study which (beside a few small appearances by a couple of other actors) is really just a small-scale, three-hander starring Glory Annen as a young woman called Jessica who is completely under the spell of a slightly older woman called Josephine (played by "Vampyres" actress Sally Faulkner). The two live together in a secluded cottage which, it turns out, has really always belonged to Jessica since her parents died; but it is the obsessive Josephine who dominates the place! The two live as lovers -- with no contact from any other person to ruin Josephine's perfectly controlled, vegetarian, no-men-allowed, lesbian idyll! There are signs that not everything is quite so cosy though: Jessica suffers from nightmares relating to a past boyfriend, and wakes up in the middle-of-the-night because of a piercing bright light in the sky which floods her bedroom. Unknown to either woman, an alien called Kator (played by the star of British sex films such as "The Ups and Downs of A Handyman", Barry Stokes) has, indeed, landed nearby and immediately takes on human form to blend in with the natives. The next morning, Josephine and Jessica go for a stroll in the countryside surrounding their cottage and discover three rabbits which have been torn to pieces! Josephine assumes they have fallen victim to a fox. Soon, they stumble upon Kator hiding in a nearby shed; he gives his name as Anders -- and Jessica, who is just happy to see another human face, insists he come back with them to their cottage despite Josephine's suspicion and hostility.
 
The rest of the film revolves around the ever-changing relationship and power struggle between the three. At first, Anders' complete lack of understanding of human customs gives Josephine the upper hand: Anders doesn't even realise that he can't walk on water and the womens' attempts to feed him with home grown vegetables makes him vomit violently -- which only increases the man-hating Josephine's dislike of him! When the women’s' chickens are found torn to pieces, Anders captures the fox that the women assume is killing the animals... which makes Josephine start to warm to him a bit more! They celebrate by holding a party in which they dress Anders up as a woman -- complete with lipstick and eyeshadow. Being an alien, Anders is none the wiser! A game of hide-and-seek finally brings out the hidden tensions in Josephine and Jessica's relationship and the film ends with an explosion of brutal violence as lesbian lusts and alien appetites run riote!
 
The ten day shoot gives the movie an almost guerilla film making feel: much like some of the works of Jess Franco from this period such as "Nightmares Come At Night" and "Eugine De Sade". Handheld camerawork, the use of natural lighting, very slow Rollin-esque pacing, and some incredibly torrid lesbian sex scenes between stars, Sally Faulkner and Glory Annen certainly add to the effect, despite the fact that Warren claims that neither he nor the two women actually had much idea exactly what lesbians get up to at that time! The presence of Sally Faulkner is also a pleasant reminder of that other British-made horror film which successfully imported the Euro-sleaze factor: "Vampyres". And Faulkner is especially good here as a character whose increasing psychosis eventually leads to her — quite literally — digging her own grave!
 
While "Vampyres" made use of locations familiar from many Hammer films, "Prey" was filmed on the back lot at Shepperton Studios where many an Amicus film was set! The bridge where Christopher Lee tried to dispose of Michael Gough's disembodied hand in "Dr Terror's House Of Horrors" crops up here many times -- including in the film's most eccentric sequence where all three actors are required to writhe around in a stagnant pond (which looks absolutely filthy it has to be said!) in slow-motion ... for about five minutes, while Ivor Stanely's bonkers synthesiser score goes absolutely ape! Scenes like this and the disturbing denouement -- which involves a violent sex scene and graphic cannibalism -- have insured that the film has acquired something of a cult following. "Prey" is another piece of eccentric low-budget British weirdness: edgy and brooding despite its corny sci-fi trappings, the synth score and the countryside setting give it the feel of an episode of "Hammer House Of Horror" crossed with an early 70s episode of Dr. Who directed by Jess Franco! Don't know how that sounds to you, but to me it sounds just grand!
 
"Prey" sports a very nice and clear transfer; although it does feature a bit of speckling and a few cracks and pops on the soundtrack, they never get too out of hand. Unfortunately, the transfer used is in a cropped, 4:3 aspect ratio and the compositions are noticeably compromised. This is even more frustrating when one notes that the trailer is widescreen and far more picture information can be discerned than in the actual feature! This disc's AV quality scores 7 out of ten but would have been higher if not for the incorrect ratio.
 
Once again we get the same choice of audio options as before and a director's commentary is included where Norman J. Warren is joined by author of "English Gothic", Jonathan Rigby. This is another very informative commentary where Warren's enthusiasm is, once more, very evident and Rigby is on hand with all sorts of obscure facts about cast and crew. Like "Satan's Slave" the film is uncut -- with all previous omissions reinstated.
 
What do Kenny Everette regular, Cleo Rocos, Argento buff and journalist, Alan Jones, and Chewbacca out of Star Wars have in common? All of them appear in Norman J. Warren's 1978 tribute to Dario Argento's "Suspiria" -- "Terror"! Or at least Peter Mayhew, the guy who played Chewbacca, appears in the film -- not Chewbacca himself ... that would be too weird!
 
In "Terror" a 17th Century which places a curse on all the descendants of Lord and Lady Garrick (William Russell and Mary Maude) just before she is burned at the stake on their land. Immediately afterwards, Lady Garrick returns home to find her husband has been murdered. The ghost of the witch then appears and decapitates Lady Garrick with a sword hanging over their mantle piece! "THE END" then flashes up on the screen and we learn that what has appeared to be a traditional, Hammer/Tygon-stye Gothic piece is actually a film within a film! This opening sequence puts a full stop to Norman J. Warren's Hammer influences. By this time Hammer films were dead; "To The Devil... A Daughter" had turned out to be their last horror movie and Norman and "Satan's Slave" producer Les Young had both, independently, seen and been inspired by Dario Argento's "Suspiria" and were now keen to bring its hallucinatory, "anything goes" sensibility to their next self-financed effort. "Prey" had been something of a diversion for Warren; with "Terror", he was reunited with his familiar old crew from "Satan's Slave": producer and photographer, Les Young; Hayden Pearce, back again as set designer; and David McGillivary, once again devising the script from ideas supplied by Young and Warren. The same stately home that was used in "Satan's Slave" also turns up as the main location for the film's main sequences which are now bathed in lurid red, green and blue lighting a la Argento's finest!
 
Warren quotes "Suspiria" as a liberating force which made him realise that he didn't have to worry about logic or plot. Instead, he and Les young simply thought up a variety of interesting murder set-pieces and asked McGillivary to write a story around them. The result doesn't make a great deal of sense and, as Warren cheerfully admits on the accompanying commentary track, there is absolutely no point looking for a plot in the film ... there isn't one!
 
Basically, what little there is has something to do with the film director James Garrick (John Nolan) -- who shot the film that takes up the first ten minutes -- and his cousin, Anne (Carolyn Courage) being the last living descendants of the witch depicted in James' film! During a party in the very house in which Lord and Lady Garrick were supposedly killed (and in which James now lives) Anne goes into a trance and tries to kill James with the family sword! Later, one of the other party guests (played by "Blake's 7", "Dempsy and Makepiece" and "Night & Day" star Glynis Barber, who was cast at the last minute because she looked stunning!) is brutally murdered in the woods by a mysterious black gloved assailant. Anne returns to the "Theatre Hostel for Girls" where she lives with lots of other young female actresses who work part time in a strip joint (when they're not appearing in dodgy sex comedies of the type Warren used to direct himself!) and wakes to find her hands covered in blood -- with no memory of where it came from! Her cousin James is naturally suspicious since Anne has already tried to kill him once; and indeed, anyone who has anything to do with Anne (no matter how tenuously) now quickly seems to end up dead at the hands of that mysterious knife wielding maniac or mysterious forces!
 
That is really as far as the plot goes! What we are given instead is a mysterious killer whose identity is never revealed, lurid primary coloured lighting, all manner of weird and wonderful audio effects, and supernatural chaos induced by irrational and inexplicable forces. In other words, all the most immediately notable elements of "Suspiria"! Even the actual murder set-pieces are unashamedly very Argento-esque. The film is still quintessentially British though, despite its overt Italian influences: the romantic German setting of Suspiria's Tanz Akademie is swapped for a mishmash of down-at-heel, English country houses and seedy Soho strip joints; while all those imperiously untouchable Euro-babes who supply most of Suspiria's kill-fodder, are replaced by a bunch of foul-mouthed cockney dolly birds (apart from Glynis Barber who is, indeed, hot)! The biggest let down is the film's tinny, cheap-sounding synth score which was supplied by Ivor Stanely who had worked on the previous year's "Prey". In reality, Warren couldn't really ever have hoped to come anywhere near emulating the sheer majestic excellence of "Suspiria" on such a low budget and a four week shooting schedule -- but that's not to say that the film isn't bloody entertaining! Curiously, although Warren clearly does copy a few sequences from "Suspiria" (particularly the film's climax) there are also a number of shots which seem to pre-empt future Argento films such as "Tenebrae", "Phenomena" and "Inferno". Warren jokes on the commentary track that Argento probably copied him -- but after seeing these scenes I actually began to wonder! Both "Satan's Slave" and "Terror" did great box office upon their release, and for one week in 1978, "Terror" was the number one grossing film in the UK!
 
"Terror" gets the crispest 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer on the set! Nice strong colours and good black levels throughout means that this disc gets an 8 out of ten for its AV quality. Warren's audio concoction of BBC thunder clap effects and weird, Goblin-style moaning means that the soundtrack sounds best played as loud as possible although the crappy synth score is a constant annoyance if truth be told! Once again you get the usual choices of 2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround sound and 5.1 DTS.
 
The extras on the disc consist of a French trailer (which gives away all the best bits); two deleted scenes (which are just dialogue scenes cut to increase the film's pace) and a twenty second radio spot. There is also a director's commentary with Warren and writer David McGillivary who once again cannot remember anything about the film! He claims to have enjoyed it though, and if you like low-budget British horror and Dario Argento, you will too! At least you get to laugh at Alan Jones's daft beard and twenty second attempt at acting!
 
The success of "Terror" opened the door to bigger budgeted projects, and in 1980 -- at the behest of producer Richard Gordon and Sir Run Run Shaw of the Hong Kong based Shaw Brothers film studio -- Warren was given the space-bound horror slasher, "Inseminoid". Although the on-screen evidence would suggest otherwise, Producer Richard Gordon claims that the film was in no way intended as a rip-off of the previous years' Ridley Scott directed space horror epic, "Alien" and that he was not even aware of the film when "Inseminoid" went into production. There are a number of elements that the two have in common though, not least the t-shirt and panties Sigourney Weaver sported at the end of the film which are enjoyably worn by English actress Stephanie Beacham in Warren's version!
 
"Inseminoid" is set in deep space, where a space colony made up mostly of British starlets such as Beacham, Judy Geeson and Victoria Tennant -- and a couple of unknown American actors, Robin Clarke and Jennifer Ashley -- are investigating the disappearance of a previous expedition. They find strange alien inscriptions on a wall and discover weird glowing gem stones which they take back to the base that has been set up in the caves of the alien planet. Sandy (Judy Geeson) is attacked by a mysterious alien presence during one exploration of the caves and wakes up in the base -- where it is discovered that she is two months pregnant! Of course, the alien has impregnated Sandy during the attack (a fact which is represented in a confusing dream sequence which appears to implicate another member of the crew in the alien conception, but which is really just meant to get around the censorship problems that would have been the result of filming a straight, rape-by-alien scene!) The alien foetus starts to take over her consciousness and she soon starts killing off the whole crew one by one and eating them to feed her rabidly developing alien twin babies!
 
It's rather ironic that "Inseminoid" is the biggest budgeted movie included in this box set because it is the film that suffers the most from its low budget feel. Warren's regular collaborators: photographer, John Metcalfe and set designer, Hayden Pierce are on hand once again and do a fair job in creating an alien moon base out of the Chislehurst caves location; but the problem is that sci-fi movies are much harder to do convincingly on a low budget and seem to date much more quickly than most other genre films. The production actually ran out of money completely towards the end of the shoot and Warren was forced to film the remaining scenes from one angle because there were no sets left -- just some scaffolding and a few black drapes! The score for the film was composed by "Satan's Slave" composer John Scott. A full orchestra was not an option because of the budget restrictions so Scott elected to do an electronic score instead. This is only partially successful; the main theme is fantastic -- and Scott shows more of the ingenuity he demonstrated on "Satan's Slave" in creating weird noises for crucial scenes such as the dreamlike alien insemination sequence. But there is a lot of underscoring which sounds like it was written for an orchestra but which is just doodled on a synthesiser instead and this sounds rather cheap and tinny.
 
Another factor that hampers the movie is some incredibly wooden acting from the likes of Victoria Tennant and several other forgettable members of the cast. The plot meanders far too much as well, and takes forever to actually get going, which is a shame because once we get to a possessed Judy Geeson, running around the caves and killing off the dodgy cast in a variety of gory ways, it does actually get rather entertaining! Victoria Tennant's acting sins are paid for with a brutal death-by-scissors scene which ends with the demur actress covered in several gallons of Kensington gore! Warren has always known how to shoot a death scene and we get plenty of them in quick succession in the second half of the movie. This whole section is considerably bolstered by Judy Geeson's fantastic performance: she is genuinely unnerving as she goes about decimating her colleagues, and the scene where she actually gives birth to the alien babies is quite harrowing ... at least until we see the rubbish puppet alien emerge from between her legs -- when the heart sinks! One feels guilty rubbishing the aliens because apparently, they were quite complex creations; but unfortunately, they just don't look very good on screen! Warren's way with a death scene and Geeson and Stephanie Beacham's performances are what make the film watchable but it is nowhere near as interesting as Warren's 70s material.
 
"Inseminoid" is probably the best known movie included in this collection and has a considerable cult following; the DVD reflects that by including a lot of extras. The film is presented in its 2.35:1 anamorphic aspect ratio but has a curiously soft picture and there is a fair amount of smearing whenever there is quick movement on screen. It looks rather like a bad NTSC to PAL conversion! Colours are not too bad and the red and blue lighting gels look pretty good in the cave sequences, but black levels are sometime rather too light. Once again we get the usual three audio options for the film. AV quality scores 5 out of ten!
 
A directors commentary track is included with Warren joined by first assistant director on the film, Gary White. This is the worst of all four commentary tracks since White doesn't say an awful lot and seems to find it difficult to get his words out on occasion, so Warren is reduced to simply describing what is going on on screen for a lot of the time! Other extras consist of a trailer and two featurettes: "Electronic Approach", in which John Scott talks about his score for the movie; and "Judy Geeson: Inseminoid Girl", an interview with the actress in which she gives us a short biographical sketch of her career and talks about her experiences on the film and working with Warren. It turns out that she has never seen the finished film (although she enjoyed making it) and is horrified to discover that she appears nude in the alien insemination scene!
 
The fifth disc in the collection is devoted to even more extras. These are not just your usual short featurettes, but full-blown documentaries on each film -- in which many of their cast and crew are interviewed and Warren gives his detailed recollections of each one. "Satan's Slave" and "Prey" get half-hour films ("Creating Satan" and "Keep It Running"), while "Terror" and "Inseminoid" get forty-five minute documentaries ("Bloody Good Fun" and "Subterranean Universe"). There is also a twenty-seven minute film called "Norman Warren: A Sort Of Biography" in which Warren talks about his life up to starting work on "Satan's Slave". The film includes clips from Warren's teenage home movies and the trailers for his first two sex comedies, "Her Private Hell" and "Loving Feeling". Finally, we get Warren's first ten minute short film shot on 35 mm, "Fragment": a Polanski-style tale of a suicidal woman's doomed love affair. Lastly we have nine text biographies of cast and crew; and four poster galleries covering all the films in the set.
 
Norman J. Warren may well be one of Britain's most unheralded horror directors. That won't be the case any longer though thanks to this magnificent box set from Anchor Bay. Warren achieved incredible results on minuscule budgets due to his great professionalism and talent, and the man comes across as a true British gent (with more than a passing resemblance to stuffy UK film critic Barry Norman!) with an unquenchable love of film making and the horror genre. This set is a great tribute to his art, and at a relatively low price of £29.99 (much less online, if you know where to look) it is an absolutely essential buy for British horror fans. Highly recommended.

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