Lucky Dip: Gifts Of The Lost And Lesser Known Presents Lost British Horror: Sleepwalker
Thu 24 February 2011 // 20:00
(Thur 24th Feb / 8pm / £5)
Tonight The Cube is excited to kick off our occasional ‘Lucky Dip’ night as a more regular concern with a screening of a true one-off under-the-radar British horror gem that’s effectively lain unreleased since its completion in the mid-eighties.
A young protégé of Lindsay Anderson (having worked as a teenager on his classic ‘O Lucky Man’), Saxon Logan directed Sleepwalker in 1984, more or less the very final days of the ‘supporting feature’. However after some reportedly triumphant screenings at the Berlin Film Festival, the film sadly failed to find a distribution deal and a disillusioned Saxon ended up moving on and concentrating on other projects. Forward to 2002, and thanks to the efforts of a group of genre critics and lost film seekers, a slow process of rediscovery began.
The plot begins as Richard Paradise and his wife Angela arrive at the house of Albion, owned by brother and sister act Marianne and Alex Britain. When a violent storm occurs, Marianne is forced to abandon plans for a quiet candlelit dinner, forcing the quartet to head for a local restaurant run by all-seeing, all-knowing proprietor and waiter (Fulton Mckay and Michael Medwin - veterans of Lindsay Anderson's Britannia Hospital). During dinner, Richard launches a vicious attack on Alex (Bill Douglas – the legendary British director appearing in a rare acting role) and his socialist principles, and the tension raises further. From here the atmosphere gets progressively stranger, and overnight at the old dark house a bloodbath occurs - but have the horrific murders taken place in reality, or in some nightmare world?
All the more remarkable is how a film of such curious pedigree could ever disappear so thoroughly. Sleepwalker proves to be a vicious and surprisingly timely combination of full-blooded horror and social commentary, seeming more relevant than ever in today’s climate of phoney fear and class war paranoia. We’re delighted to be able to welcome Saxon and his film to the Cube tonight, hopefully one further step towards the film’s full revival into the wider world.
“Boasting a script laced with black as crude humour, Sleepwalker comes over like a head-on collision between Mike Leigh and Dario Argento, with its mise en scene often recalling the late, great Mario Bava” Steve Langton, The Spinning Image.
Lucky Dip: Gifts of the Lost and Lesser Known aims to bring you an array of rarely seen, would be cult gems from decades past.