Dorothy Yates (Sheila Keith) was a tarot card reader. She made her living as a fortuneteller. In 1957, Dorothy was committed to an asylum for killing and eating people who came to her to have their fortunes read. Her husband, Edmund Yates (Rupert Davies) was also committed for aiding and abetting his wife. The couple was institutionalized for fifteen years at Landsdowne Mental Hospital.
During that time, Edmund’s daughter from a previous marriage, Jackie (Deborah Fairfax), became the caretaker for her half-sister, Debbie (Kim Butcher). Debbie was an infant when her parents were committed and lived in an orphanage until Jackie took over her care. Debbie, now fifteen, is a wild child and a juvenile delinquent. Jackie never told her that her parents are still alive or who they were.
Jackie meets Graham Heller (Paul Greenwood) through their friend, Merle (Fiona Curzon). Graham is a psychiatrist. He becomes interested in Jackie and asks her on a date. The date ends early, and Graham isn’t sure why Jackie has to run off. He learns through Merle about Jackie’s sister. Wanting to help, he contacts his mentor, Dr. Lytell (Leo Genn) for assistance. Lytell puts him in touch with The Medical Superintendent at Landsdowne, Matthew Laurence (Gerald Flood). Laurence tells him about the whole Dorothy Yates situation.
Graham decides to try to help Jackie and Debbie but ends up finding out that he is way over his head. It seems that Dorothy is up to her old tricks and Graham ends up in the middle of the family problems.
“Frightmare” AKA “Cover Up” AKA “Once Upon a Frightmare” was released in 1974 and was directed by Pete Walker. It is a British horror slasher movie.
This ended up being a lot better than I expected. Gross, yes, and although it started out a little slow, the story was intricate enough to keep my attention, but not totally confuse me. The movie had a “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” 1974 feel to it in that cannibalistic homicidal maniacs are sometimes all in the family. By the end of the film even the once sane Edmund Yates, who even went to the asylum to be with his wife, seems to have gone off the deep end due to being overwhelmed by all the madness around him.
The critics hated it and pointed mostly to the film's violence. This is what cult movies are made from. Outside of the gore, the best part of the movie was Sheila Keith as the insane and homicidal cannibal, Dorothy Yates. She was deliciously mad.