Persecution (1973)

What was the worst horror film made during the glut of dreadful crap churned out during the 1970s? Difficult to say, really - and it really is a question that needs answering. One day. But if anyone's making a list - hey, I am, aren't I? - then surely Persecution, or The Terror of Sheba, must appear on it.

Not so much "so bad it's good" as "so bad it should be put on a bonfire and burned, then chucked in an acid bath, and finally encased in concrete and dumped into the sea", The Terror of Sheba, as it should have remained named, is quite possibly the worst film I have ever seen. And bear in mind I have seen Horror Of Frankenstein. Yes, it's that bad.

When I tell you that Sheba is the name of a Persian cat in the film, that should give you some idea of how wonderfully poor the proceedings actually are. When the first cat (they're all called Sheba) is killed within the first minute, you think "aaah, poor puddy tat". By the end of 90 minutes of Ralph Bates' usual standard of acting, and some scenery chomping histrionics by Lana Turner, you're chanting "Kill the cat! Kill the cat!"

Add to this the fact that there's no blood (despite a frenzied stabbing) and no nudity (despite a sex scene), some dodgy special effects work and practically no story to speak of, and you've got what our American cousins call a turkey of the highest order.

Usually I love this stuff - but after 90 minutes of this I wanted to go out and torture a few small animals myself.

Director: Don Chaffey Writer(s): Robert Hutton (as Robert B. Hutton), Frederick Warner, Rosemary Wootten

Cast: Lana Turner - Carrie Masters, Trevor Howard - Paul Bellamy, Ralph Bates - David Masters, Olga Georges-Picot - Monique Kalfon, Suzan Farmer - Janie Masters, Mark Weavers - Young David, Patrick Allen - Robert Masters, Jennifer Guy - Waitress, Shelagh Fraser - Mrs. Banks, Ronald Howard - Dr. Ross, John Ryan - Gardener, Catherine Brandon - Mrs. Deacon


Last updated: February 25, 2010

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