Weird Britannia

British eccentricity, murderousness, and general spookiness…

The Orchard End Murder – Christian Marnham, 1981, 49 mins

A sexually-charged true-crime drama, Christian Marnham’s The Orchard End Murder chronicles the brutal murder of a young woman (Tracy Hyde) in rural Kent, and dramatises the tragic aftermath of the crime. The hunt for the killer leads the woman’s boyfriend (Mark Hardy) to the house of an eccentric stationmaster, who tends a garden of gnomes and seems to possess a diabolical secret.

Orchard End is a cinematic curiosity item, being a short feature intended for distribution as part of a double-bill (usually packaged with Gary Sherman’s Dead and Buried).

“A macabre tale of a bizarre encounter between a cunning hunchback, a demented giant, a naughty litte Red Riding Hood from suburbia – and death” – dvdbeaver.com

Anna and the Dead – Peter Goddard, 2017, 103 mins

When her parents decide to separate, sixteen year old Anna Brooks, a narcoleptic, is sent to spend the summer in a small coastal town with her aunt and uncle, Jennifer and David, who hold some very antiquated values. Suffering traumatic hallucinations, Anna also witnesses several bizarre and sinister incidents involving the townspeople, creating palpable feelings of paranoia and anxiety, and leaving Anna unsure of who to turn to for help.

UK fans of a certain age will enjoy the irony of the teacher being played by someone more famous for being a student themselves…

“Its dark undertones and haunting climax show why independent cinema is the force to reckon with” – bloodgutsuk.com

Far From the Apple Tree – Grant McPhee, 2019, 85 mins

Judith (Sorcha Groundsell – Netflix’s The Innocents, BBC’s Clique) is a struggling art student who lands a dream job of working for a renowned and somewhat sinister visual artist (Victoria Liddell – Outlaw King, River City). Judith’s work involves cataloguing the artists’ video footage and in doing so she discovers film sequences of a young woman, the artists’ dead daughter, who looks exactly like herself…

Featuring a fantastic soundtrack from Rose McDowall (Strawberry Switchblade) and Shawn Pinchbeck, this Pop art fairytale is our second title from Scottish director Grant McPhee; with strands of horror, ghost story and fairy tale all weaving together to make a compelling, haunting and absorbing experience.

“Disorientating and hallucinatory. Sorcha Groundsell is stunning”

$9 for 5 days VOD rental