The Flesh and Blood Show (1972)
Director: Pete Walker
Starring: Jenny Hanley, Ray Brooks, Judy Matheson, Luan Peters, Robin Askwith, Patrick Barr, Candace Glendenning, Tristan Rogers, Penny Meredith and David Howey.
Thanks to KamuiX for this rip! Includes the trailer and an interview with director Pete Walker.
A theatrical troupe is hired by a mysterious employer and sent to a dilapidated theater for rehearsals; while there, a maniac begins picking them off, one by one...
"The story takes its cue from Agatha Christie's venerable Ten Little Indians]/i] — a group of strangers are invited to a remote locale, where they fall prey to an unseen assassin. While Walker's subsequent horror pictures tended to phase out the carnal aspect, his background in sexploitation is abundantly evident here — softcore groping and plentiful nudity dominate the first half of the picture, and while there is plenty of mayhem, the gruesome excesses evident in [i]Frightmare (1973) and House Of Whipcord (1974) are kept in check. Fortunately, the actresses are of an attractive variety (Luan Peters, Jenny Hanley and Judy Matheson all filled appropriately tight bodices for Hammer earlier in their careers, but it would take Walker to convince them to show a bit more) and the acting is of a generally competent variety. Walker's direction isn't as assured as it would become in later films, but he manages some nice moody passages and keeps the action moving at a decent clip.
Ultimately the film is perhaps most interesting as a precursor to the slasher films that would dominate the genre beginning in the late 1970s. Like Mario Bava's seminal Twitch Of The Death Nerve (1971), it anticipates such later hits as Halloween (1978) and Friday The 13th (1980) in its depiction of a group of horny teens being dispatched by a homicidal maniac. Unlike the Bava film, however, its emphasis on sex instead of violence makes it very much a film of its day, closer to the nudie films of Walker's earlier career than to the vicious and nihilistic tone of his later films. The gratuitous inclusion of a 3-D climax doesn't help matters — it comes off as a silly gimmick at best, a tacky distraction at worst. Even so, taken on its own terms, The Flesh And Blood Show has enough going for it to warrant a look. Fans of Walker's other horror films are bound to find some entertainment value in it." - Troy Howarth, Eccentric Cinema