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The Comeback (1978)

A singer holes up at a sinister estate to write new songs for his act. The ghost of his murdered wife begins to haunt him, then the person who actually killed her shows up at the mansion.

Director:

Pete Walker

Writers:

Murray Smith (screenplay), Michael Sloan (additional script material)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Jones ... Nick Cooper
Pamela Stephenson ... Linda
David Doyle ... Webster Jones
Bill Owen ... Mr B
Sheila Keith ... Mrs B
Holly Palance ... Gail
Peter Turner Peter Turner ... Harry
Richard Johnson ... Macauley
Patrick Brock Patrick Brock ... Dr Paulsen
June Chadwick ... Nurse
Penny Irving ... Girl Singer
Jeff Silk ... Police Officer
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Storyline

A singer holes up at a sinister estate to write new songs for his act. The ghost of his murdered wife begins to haunt him, then the person who actually killed her shows up at the mansion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

more haunting than any melody... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day the Screaming Stopped See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in five weeks. See more »

Goofs

Around 49min 20sec in, boom reflected in glass of cabinet in the room. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sheila Keith: A Nice Old Lady? (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Eagle Son
(uncredited)
Written by John Povey, Dick Taylor, Wally Waller & Phil May
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pop star fame will be the death of ya.
13 August 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

American pop singer Nick Cooper returns to England to resurrect his singing career, after being in a six-years relationship that just ended. His recording manager gets him a quiet old vacation house run by two elderly folks, so he can concentrate on his musical comeback and sweet talk his manager's secretary. However every night he spends there he's plagued by horrifying screaming, and a rotten corpse that looks like his former misses, and it only gets more stranger and unnerving until he finally cracks under the anxiety. Unknowingly to Nick, just after he left to England his ex-wife is brutally murdered and left to rot in his play house.

My first taste of director Pete Walker's exploitation/horror forays almost didn't eventuate. My luck the tape I had of "The Comeback" was that of bad quality, as the sound was hissing and the screen was rolling. After twenty minutes of that distraction, I was about give up and in the bin it would go. However it came through, and I could finally watch it… clearly.

Now the movie itself is a grim, unpleasant little mysterious psycho-shocker presentation with very little in the way of surprises and even jolts, as it goes about things in a conservative manner. Walker's direction is dry, subdued with only small moments of fast outbursts. There was potential within, but the kitsch-like premise can stumble into silliness and become convoluted, while the red herrings aren't particularly useful, but Walker springs up few imaginative images and effectively creepy and inspired set pieces that do rally up some mindless fun. The death scenes are minor, but still they pack a punch due to the fact they are gruesome, sudden and jarring in detail. Even the setting of house comes off eerie, and a Gothic atmospheric tenor is released with good use of foreboding sound FXs. The music score trickles with an understated chilliness, but still has a sting in its tail and agile cinematography feels like it's on a leash as it follows the figure with different angles and framings. The pacing can stall too often, with a stop and go approach. The talky material plays the usual "Am I going insane" trump with clichéd predictability, but that dozy of a climax is one over-the-top revelation that you don't see coming. Suspense has no say and it never draws upon building any, because everything is mostly telegraphed. The characters are an odd bunch and the acting comes off admirably well. A likable Jack Jones is sound enough and the ravishing Pamela Stevenson is satisfyingly good. David Doyle is enjoyable as the recording manager and Shelia Keith's glassy turn is professionally convincing.

Odd, ghastly British horror fable that can't escape its plain and ponderous style.


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