‘Where the rent is blood!’
The Black Room is a 1981 American horror feature film written and co-directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane (You’re So Dead; Midnight; The Horror Star) and Elly Kenner.
The intense synth score was composed by Art Podell (Haunts) and James Ackley.
Stephen Knight (Necromancy 1983 reissue), Cassandra Gava (The Amityville Curse), Jimmy Stathis (Vultures; X-Ray; Dogs), Clara Perryman, Charlie Young, Geanne Frank, Christopher McDonald, Allisun Kale, Edwin Avedissian, Sheila Reid. Future Scream Queen Linnea Quigley has a minor role as a doomed babysitter.
“Larry and his wife, Robin, rent a lovely room in an old mansion nestling high in the Hollywood hills. Their landlord is Jason, a handsome, mysterious man who claims to be a photographer. His beautiful, dark-haired sister Bridgette, claims to be his model. Are they genuine? Find out when you enter The Black Room.”
“The overall result is a near-perfect counterpoint of intense eroticism and discomfiting sleaze … a staggeringly intricate daisy-chain of infidelity and voyeurism, overlain with a thick veneer of impending doom…” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“The Black Room is not only one of the most underrated horror films, I would say that it is one of the most underrated films from the 1980’s. While I know the phrase “smart film” is a cliché, it is one that can be applied here.” Rupert Pupkin Speaks
“It’s character focused and slow-burn, reliant more on sustained mood and powerful suggestion than graphic splatter; more arthouse than grindhouse … The Black Room certainly doesn’t skimp on the horror side of things, with the five minute blood draining sequence being the undoubted, palm sweat-inducing highlight.”UK Horror Scene
“The film is an ultimate suburban nightmare, preying on the fears of every suburban couple. Afraid to stay in a dull marriage, yet afraid of how much things could unravel if you go out on the prowl. This is not to say it’s a puritanical film, not in any way … Instead, the film shows a man so desperate for some excitement, he isn’t even cognizant of the sinister goings on around him.” Video Store Generation
“As a genre piece, The Black Room succeeds admirably, with plenty of tension to go with its good ideas … It’s well-acted, well-written, and the careful use of Steadicam beings a dash of elegance that thankfully doesn’t degenerate into aimlessness…” Stephen Thrower, Nightmare USA
[NB. There is a whole chapter on Norman Thaddeus Vane’s films in the book].
“The most beautiful thing is to be killed by someone you love.”
“The world is full of married men, baby. Without ’em I’d be starving.”
“What can I say? A bird in the hand is better than a bush in the bush. Let’s go!”
This film should not to be confused with the 2016 film of the same title.
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