THE LIFETAKER (1975) Reviews and overview

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‘Revenge becomes a deadly obsession for’

The Lifetaker is a 1975 British psychological horror feature film directed by Michael Papas and starring Terence Morgan, Lea Dregorn, and soon-to-be Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan.

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A deceived husband (Terence Morgan) engages his wife (Lea Dregorn) and her young lover (Peter Duncan) in a series of deadly games…

The Lifetaker had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where it was both lauded and criticized for its controversial themes of sex and violence and the perceived corruption of youth. According to Papas, the film was scheduled to be released across the UK, but the managing director of EMI distribution cancelled the release after viewing the completed film.

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Peter Duncan joined BBC children’s TV programme Blue Peter in 1980, and shortly afterwards it was revealed in a tabloid newspaper that Duncan had appeared unclothed in the The Lifetaker.


A stylish and erotically-charged tale of obsession…. not only the quintessence of the kind of film they don’t make anymore but is also radically unlike the kind of film they made even then.” Julian Upton (editor), Offbeat: British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems


“Excellent Roeg-esque UK thriller… this dark, exotic morality piece is stylishly mounted is capably acted and has a suitably unflinching finale.”  Giallo Goblin
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Lifetaker (1)

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Michael Papas website | Tom Chantrell poster artist

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