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'What Became of Jack And Jill' (1972) Dir. Bill Bain.

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  • 'What Became of Jack And Jill' (1972) Dir. Bill Bain.

    This unjustly neglected Amicus horror gem remains a deliciously twisted tale of opportunistic Octogenarian offing, and diabolical delinquency. Duplicitous, ardently inheritance-coveting, Johnnie Tallent (Paul Nicolas) and his avidly callous conspirator, Jill Standish (Vanessa Howard) plan and evilly execute the cruel death of Johnnie's loving Gran, Alice Tallent (Mona Washbourne). Bill Bain's dark, wickedly entertaining psychodrama is enlivened by compelling performances, with a mesmerisingly malevolent turn from the nubile, electrifyingly libidinous strumpet, Vanessa 'Girly' Howard.

    The fine filmmaking by director, Bain making the most of notable writer, Roger 'The Avenger's Marshall's blackened, bracingly nihilistic text. The dour suburban milieu of loneliness and seething discontent is palpable. Paul Nicholas plays the ambivalent, coldly scheming, Johnnie with remarkable fluency, utilizing subtler shades suggesting, perhaps, at one time, he may actually have had some genuine affection for his poor Gran. While lurid, and undeniably exploitative in nature, there's an innate melancholy, a dark pathos, redolent of the glumly melodramatic, socially conscious kitchen sink doom-fests of the mid to late 60s. A skewed
    70s Brit-Horror delight, 'What Became of Jack And Jill' ranks highly in the pantheon of terror-tweaked 70s shock, and the lack of a HD restoration is conspicuous!

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