Exploitation director Pete Walker to be celebrated in a full Barbican season in November

From the Barbican Press Release:

In recent months the Barbican has held repertory screenings touching on subjects and themes ranging from Cinema’s Baddest Girl Gangs to Strong, Silent Types via Eye-Popping Colour and Desperate Housewives. For the month of November, Cigarette Burns Cinema has been invited to programme a selection of films and for this, they have chosen to show the works of Pete Walker.

With an active career of roughly 10 years, Pete Walker churned out a staggering 16 films, capturing a 1970s England ripped from the most hysterical of Daily Mail headlines. Exclusively genre based, and one of the very few independent UK exploitation directors, his efforts have long been over looked, but the houses he lead audiences through still stand strong.

Each Saturday throughout November, one of Pete Walker’s films will be shown with an introduction or ScreenTalk from film writers such as David McGillivray (who also penned three of these films) and Matthew Sweet, critic Kim Newman, film historian Jonathan Rigby and the man himself, Pete Walker.

Full Programme:

The Comeback (UK 1978 Dir Pete Walker 100 min) 
+ Intro by Kim Newman
Sat 1 Nov

Walker draws heavily on the Italian giallo movement for this classic thriller. Singer Nick Cooper (Jack Jones) returns to London to get his career back on track, unaware that his estranged wife has been brutally murdered. Bizarre events begin to pile up – is Jack losing his mind or in mortal danger?

House of Mortal Sin (UK 1976 Dir Pete Walker 104 min) 
+ Intro by David McGillivray and Kim Newman
Sat 8 Nov

Scriptwriter David McGillivray's third team up with Walker, and this time they take on the might of the Church. Father Meldrum (Anthony Sharp) is suffering from a serious case of moral decay. Fortunately, his position in society provides just the right cover, and when young Jenny Welch (Susan Penhaligon) catches his eye, he'll go to any length to get what he wants. 

Cool It Carol (UK 1970 Dir Pete Walker 101 min) 
+ Intro By Matthew Sweet
Sat 15 Nov

Young Joe Sickles (Robin Askwith) wants more from life, but was never prepared for where Carol (Janet Lynn) was going to take him. Walker's dark comedy showcases the seedier side of Swinging London, as fresh-faced youngsters are chewed up and spat out by the exploitation machine. 

House of Whipcord (UK 1974 Dir Pete Walker 102 min) 
+ ScreenTalk with Pete Walker and Jonathan Rigby
Sat 22 Nov

Coaxed to an ominous country house, model Anne-Marie (Penny Irving) finds herself trapped in a makeshift girls prison ruled by a retired judge, the blind Justice Bailey. As his sadistic wife (Sheila Keith) subjects the inmates to cruel and unusual punishments, Walker's sleazy masterpiece becomes a powerful condemnation of the justice system. 

Frightmare (UK 1974 Dir Pete Walker 88 min) 
+ Intro by Jonathan Rigby 
Sat 29 Nov

One of Walker's best-known films, Frightmare is a classic of British horror. Deemed fully cured, Jackie's parents have been released from an asylum. Caught between caring for them and minding her teenage tearaway sister, Jackie's life is proving increasingly complex. Of course not everything is as it seems, especially when your mother is a cannibal. 


Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.