Night of Fear (1972)

‘Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman …’ and not to go all country music feminista on you all but truer words were never thought up and set to music. Yeah, of course I’m sure it’s hard to be a man also, but honestly, my perspective is rather skewed on the subject being that I’m in the possession of the wrong kind of reproductive organs to be anything other than biased.

Equality is a long way away, in terms of jobs, salary, respect, media imagery, or in my country keeping just one woman who has done something to change society for the better on the LOWEST denomination of bank note (My homegirl Elizabeth Fry). Put simply, fifty percent of the population are getting screwed by society. And you should care about that, because that is your mother, your daughter, your sister, your sweet, little grandma who fattens you up with cake every time you see her, your girlfriend, your best friend, and your wife. (NB – if you have all of these women in your life at once, the rest of this will just go over your head, because dude, you got enough on your plate already.)

If you don’t care about that then that makes you a misogynist who doesn’t care who’s screwing their own mother. Wow.
That’s cold.
You might as well be Rupert Murdoch.

In March of this year a Norwegian businesswoman was raped in Dubai, and upon reporting the attack, was arrested, refused contact with the outside world for three days and was later charged and sentenced with sex outside of marriage, drinking alcohol, and giving false testimony. She was sentenced to sixteen months in prison – that’s three months more than her rapist got.

One more for Sharia Law in Dubai. (Seriously, do NOT consider this place as a valid holiday destination.)

The world is far less welcoming for a woman. If we travel alone, it is ‘at our own risk’, we have to be so much more wary than our opposite gender and sometimes even consider taking them with us for our own safety, no matter how strong, independent and clued up we are. Now, I know that some of you may think I’m rambling, but my point is this: in this day and age, why should a woman be any less safe in any part of the world, just because of her gender? And why should any country’s law be tied in any way to religious values?

Law is about morality, and religion is about choice – and just because you’re religion condones something, doesn’t mean that there is no choice but to accept it. You can have faith in something and still retain the values that you cherish, and that you know to be good. Even a five year old knows the difference between right and wrong, so how stupid and cruel do you have to be to punish a rape victim more than a rapist?

Night of Fear is the story of a lone female who finds herself stranded after a fender bender, makes her way to a cabin in the woods, and discovers that car trouble is the very least of her bad day blues.

Often referred to as Australia’s first horror film, Night of Fear is a real thing of beauty for a classic horror fan. There is barely any dialogue in the film, bar a few screams, moans and a talk radio host playing along in a truck, the rest is all music and tension, and crescendos of terror. Ozploitation as it has become known, has come on leaps and bounds since this one; but echoes of this little low budget shocker have been seen in many of the horror standards we hold up as examples of what the genre is really about.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of the seminal films of our time and this film was two years prior to Tobe Hooper’s classic. Yet, watching the two together, I’d put money (if I had any) on this being a big inspiration of his when he was creating the myth of Leatherface. Originally meant as a pilot for a television series, the plot was deemed too violent and was subsequently canned and banned for far too long. This is the stuff that horror is really about, and audiences thrive on, risky, bloody business that is fascinating to watch.

Sure it isn’t perfection; not every scene stands the test of time and the music was kind of ear bleedy in parts, but hey, it was the seventies! Weren’t they all on drugs anyway?!

Oh and ladies, if you are thinking about taking any kind of solo trip, remember to pack two things: a big old knife and your running shoes.
Just in case.
(And hey fellas, I ‘m sure it couldn’t hurt for you to do the same, because after a couple of shots of bourbon, I bet even you look kind of pretty.)

This entry was posted in 70s horror, critique, horror, murder, opinion, pop culture, rant, Serial Killers, Seventies horror, Slasher, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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