Genre: period thriller
Format: Colour film, 35mm
Production company: Terryrod Productions
Producers: Terry Bourke, Rod Hay
Director, screenplay: Terry Bourke
Director of Photograhy: Brian Probyn
Editor: Rod Hay
Art direction: Gary Hansen
Music: Bob Young
Stunt director: Peter Armstrong
Dame Judith Anderson (Caroline Straull)
Joesph Furst (Lazar Straulle)
Alex Cord (Cal Kincaid)
Micheal Craig (Paul Melford)
Inn of the Damned is one of a string of cult Australian horror/thriller features that were made here in the mid-to late 1970s. According to Robert Hood, Bourke's first film Night of Fear (1973), a short feature, was made as the pilot for a proposed TV series called Fright and Inn Of The Damned also grew from a script originally written for Fright.
The story, set in the 1890s, centres on an elderly couple (Anderson and Furst) who run an inn in Gippsland. They avenge the death of their son on anyone who happens to come by. An American bounty-hunter (Cord) investigates the disappearances and brings their murder spree to an end.
"Very gothic, consciously using violence as a box-ofice attraction."
" ... a pseudo-historical psycho-thriller, full of Grand Guignol violence and dark Gothic melodrama. It is set in 1896 and obviously aimed at the US exploitation market."
The movie is especially notable for the presence of veteran Australian actress Dame Judith Anderson. She spent most of her career in the UK and the USA and is best known for playing sinister housekeeper Mrs Davers in Hitchock's Rebecca and for her cameo appearance (her last movie role) as the Vulcan high priestess in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Her husband in the film is played by another veteran of the screen, Joseph Furst, who appeared in many Australian films, telemovies and TV series, as well as many overseas productions.
References / Links
Killer Koalas: Australian (and New Zealand) Horror Films: A History (pub, year)