Photo by Kerry Brown

Andy Starke

The producer of The Greasy Strangler and The Duke of Burgundy picks And Soon The Darkness.

Picking a single film from the Vintage Classics list is a difficult task – many of my favourite films and directors are represented. I could watch The Elephant Man, Kind Hearts & Coronets or Peeping Tom any day of the week – but sometimes I get just as much enjoyment from a film that inspires in different ways.

And Soon The Darkness is a great example of a film that’s a melting pot of time and space and sparks hundreds of cinematic synapses.

Its director – Robert Fuest – directed one of my favourite films – The Final Programme – so far the only adaptation of Michael Moorcock ’s Gerry Cornelius novels. He also made both Dr Phibes films. He started his career in TV directing The Avengers and And Soon The Darkness shares the same creative team. Brian Clemens – the lead writer for The Avengers writes along with Terry “Dr Who” Nation – the great score is by Laurie Johnson and starring Michelle “Some Mothers Do Ave Em” Dotrice and Pamela Franklin – who would later star in the criminally under-rated (and Delia Derbyshire scored) Legend of Hell House – but the film is a far more somber affair…

Like Hitchcock’s Frenzy, it’s a disturbing thriller with echoes of Straw Dogs and One Deadly Summer – and maybe Fabriz du Welz is a fan as his great film Calvaire shares some similarities – but the team just can’t seem to throw their Avengers roots… The Fuest trademark direction and camera angles, the pop culture tinged score and the great costumes make the film feel closer to an Italian giallo than a kitchen sink policier and really elevate the film.

A trawl across its IMDB page makes more connections than James Burke – it’s a fascinating time capsule and yet another reason to revisit the work of the great Robert Fuest.

Recommended Titles

Robert Fuest 1970