The Thirteenth Reunion Film Details
Overview: Ruth, the reporter for the women’s section of a magazine, is assigned by her editor to participate in the ten-weeks course of a new weight-loss organization called “Think Thin”. According to a letter from a reader, the course is very
Review: Hammer House of Horror: The Thirteenth Reunion starts as investigative journalist Ruth Cairns (Julia Foster) is told by her editor Gwen Cox (Dinah Sheridan) to join & write a story about a diet club called Think Thin situated at the Chesterton Clinic which uses rather harsh methods. Ruth joins the club & witnesses how the organiser humiliates & verbally abuses the overweight in an attempt to almost shame them into losing weight. While there Ruth meets a man named Ben Faraday (Warren Clarke) who later that night has a car crash & dies, Ruth then gets a visit from a young mortician named Andrew (Gerard Kelly) who claims that something funny is going on at the funeral home where he works. Andrew suspects that his bosses may be orchestrating death’s & the stealing bodies of fat people & they should check Ben’s coffin, inside they find a wire frame shaped like a man wrapped in bandages & the chase is on as Ruth becomes determined to find out what’s going on… The Thirteenth Reunion was episode 2 from the unfairly short lived British horror anthology series produced by Hammer studios for TV & this originally aired here in the UK during September 1980, the first of three Hammer House of Horror episodes to be directed by Peter Sasdy, Rude Awakening & Visitor from the Grave being the other’s, this is another great story from a quality series. The script by Jeremy Burnham plays out like some macabre mystery with various bits & pieces revealed as it goes along, not enough for it to become too predictable but enough to retain ones curiosity as to where the stories going. I found it a pretty intriguing & engaging episode, I loved the final outcome & the abrupt shock twist ending as well. The character’s are decent as is the dialogue & at only 50 odd minutes in length it zips along at a nice pace, it never bores, there’s not much unnecessary talk & it provides some nice creepy chills. I could have done with a bit more gore in this one but the strong story compensates pretty well. The low TV budget doesn’t help here & the boys at Hammer were forced to shoot stories set in contemporary England as opposed to the lavish Gothic 19th century that many of it’s Dracula & Frankenstein films were, this actually isn’t a problem as you can relate to the stories a bit more. There’s a disappointing lack of gore on show here, there’s a bit of blood & a headless body but nothing else. Having made numerous films for the cinema Hammer obviously used their experience to turn in very good looking, cinematic & polished episodes, it was shot on location, is well made & has decent production values. The acting is alright here. The Thirteenth Reunion is a great Hammer House of Horror episode & if your a fan of the series or like twisted mysteries this is a must, if your not & don’t like the horror genre in particular then give it a miss. Personally I think it’s great & it’s as simple & straight forward as that.
Duration: 52 min
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
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