Exposé (1976)

expose_1976_poster
Exposé (1976)
  • Time: 84 min
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Director: James Kenelm Clarke
  • Cast: Udo Kier, Linda Hayden, Fiona Richmond

Storyline:

A novelist (Udo Kier) hires a quiet British country house so that he can work on finishing his latest novel. His agent arranges for a secretary to stay with him, in order to speed up its completion (played by Linda Hayden). However, this turns out to be a big mistake when she reveals that she has actually come to kill him for stealing the manuscript for his last novel from her husband, which drove him to suicide. The housekeeper, Kier’s girlfriend (played by 70’s sex superstar Fiona Richmond) and 2 local thugs all meet horrific ends as Hayden goes on her killing spree.

One review

  • The only British film to be included on the infamous ‘video nasty’ list of the 1980’s, Expose, also known as The House on Straw Hill, is tailor-made for inclusion – a sleazy, often unforgivably dull piece of exploitation featuring lots of sex, blood and B-movie favourite Udo Kier. Kier plays writer Paul Martin, who, following the huge success of his debut novel, moves to the remote British countryside to focus all of his attention on his follow-up – an erotic piece he believes could win him the Pulitzer prize.

    Paul is plagued by visions of having sex with a well-endowed woman and his hands covered in blood, images he doesn’t understand and which are hampering his efforts to get words onto paper. He calls for an assistant, and he is sent the young and beautiful Linda (Linda Hayden) who begins to efficiently type up his dictations. Yet something is not quite right with Linda – she sends Paul’s faithful housekeeper away, carries sex toys and a large knife in her suitcase, and seems to open herself up sexually to Paul only to repel his advances.

    Comparisons to Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs (1971) are obvious (the countryside setting, the inclusion of the word ‘straw’ in the alternative title and in the script, and Hayden is a dead-ringer for Susan George), but Expose shares none of its quality. The sex scenes are gratuitous and ridiculously loud, and the gang-rape scene fails to garner any sympathy for the victim due to being shot like a soft-core porno. What comes in between is tedious to say the least, and the events play out with all the complexity of a soap opera. Technically, the film looks quite nice, and the performance of Hayden adds a layer of intrigue to her character, but without Mary Whitehouse and her cries of moral outrage, Expose would have been lost in the annals of exploitation.

    Rating: 2/5

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