Pete Walker (director)  

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"Well known in the exploitation film genre was Pete Walker, the English director of the sex, blood and gore-filled The Flesh and Blood Show (1972). He followed it with Frightmare (1974), which broke many taboos at the time and advertised its negative reviews to attract viewers. In House of Mortal Sin (1976), he tackled Catholicism with a killer priest using sacred objects as murder weapons. In Schizo (1976), an ice skater thinks she is being stalked by a serial killer. Walker's last psycho-thriller, The Comeback (1978), featured a hag-masked killer."

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Pete Walker (born 1939 in Brighton, Sussex) is an English film director, writer and producer, specialising in horror and sexploitation films, frequently combining the two.

His films include Die Screaming, Marianne, House of Mortal Sin, Frightmare, House of Whipcord, Schizo, The Comeback, and House of the Long Shadows.

His films often featured sadistic authority figures, such as priests or judges, punishing anyone - usually young women - who doesn't conform to their strict personal moral codes, but he has denied there being any political subtext to his films. Because of the speed with which he had to make his films, Walker often used the same reliable actors, including Andrew Sachs and Sheila Keith, the latter playing memorable villainesses in four of Walker's pictures.

Malcolm McLaren hired Walker to direct a documentary on The Sex Pistols entitled A Star Is Dead. Walker seems an unlikely choice of director for this project but the deal fell through when the band split up.

Walker's work was reviled and condemned by some contemporary critics, while others were surprised to find relatively sophisticated subtexts in what were made and marketed as commercial exploitation films. Although Walker's movies have never undergone a critical reappraisal in the same way as Hammer films or his American contemporaries Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven, the release in 2005 of a DVD boxed set of five of his films was greeted with some good notices in the British national press.

On his own work, Walker says, "..recently I had to record commentary for the DVD releases, so I saw the films for the first time since making them, and you know what? They're not as bad as I thought. But searching for hidden meaning ... they were just films. All I wanted to do was create a bit of mischief."


See also


  • Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (Reynolds & Hearn Books) (third edition) (2007)
  • X-Rated - Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker by Simon Sheridan (Reynolds & Hearn Books) (2008)
  • Shepperton Babylon: The Lost Worlds of British Cinema by Matthew Sweet (Faber & Faber, 2005)
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror ed. Phil Hardy (Aurum Press, 1985, 1995)
  • The Guardian [1] "God What a Terrible Film!" An interview with Pete Walker.
  • The Radio Times Film Guide (Online version) [2]
  • Making Mischief: The Cult Films of Pete Walker by Steve Chibnall (FAB Press, 1998)
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby (Reynolds & Hearn, 2000)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pete Walker (director)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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