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Cassandra 1986
Description: A young girl has eerie flashes of recovered memories of her brother committing a murder, despite her parents assurance that all is well.
Released: 12 May 1987 Director: Colin Eggleston Writers: Colin Eggleston (screenplay), John Ruane (screenplay), Christopher Fitchett (screenplay) Actors: Tegan Charles, Tessa Humphries, Dylan O'Neill, Briony Behets Genres: Horror, Thriller
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See Cassandra (1986) Trailer | OZp on youtube.

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Cassandra Reviews:

Australian charmer about Cassandra, a young girl who wonders about a curious nightmare she keeps having. Her issues later receive much worse, however, as she starts seeing visions of murder from the killer's mission of view.This movie is predictable, especially if you've seen one of my favourite slashers, but it's still compelling throughout. This is due in huge part to a talented cast and the assured direction of one Colin Eggleston, director of the superb Long Weekend. The opening moments of the movie are particularly ellegant as we see a streak of photos through a continually blinking eye, the eyelids evoking the feel of a camera shutter. Other of my favourite scenes comes towards the end, and I'll just tell it involves fire. We also receive a quality score, at varying times eerie and beautiful. Of the three Eggleston movies I've seen (Innocent Prey being the third), this is my least favorite, but that's certainly not a slight vs it.


Prepare to be shocked ladies and gentlemen, because I've gone and done the impossible. That's right, as shocking as it may seem, I've finally found an Australian slasher film that's now worth a carrot. No, seriously! After the vomit inducing mess that was To Become One, the less than intriguing Slash and the actually legendary titan of trash, Houseboat Horror, I was beginning to think that it was just too much to ask of our cousins down-under. Cassandra is here to change all that however, because astoundingly enough, it's now quite good. Well, measured up vs those three humongous humdingers, it's truly a cinematic treasure. It's lucky enough to be one of the rare several psycho-killer flicks that have an endearing macabre sheen, which measures up nicely with the assassin leaving a broken doll beside his victims in The Baby Doll Murders and the spooky appearance of that creepy dolly in the classic Curtains. Cassandra's leading nut-nut has taken a shine to writing 'who killed cock robin' on the wall at the stage of his gruesome slashings. Of course, there's bound to be some type of deluded motive for this psychotic creativity, and it's down to us viewers to figure out the not so obvious connection… It starts with cool credit sequence that boasts a notable theme tune and a nice graphic for the title. Following that, we're given one of the creepiest openings that I ever remember witnessing in a slasher flick. A young woman is shown throwing stones into a lake beside a remote cabin in the woods. A vehicle pulls up outside the hut, and out steps a girl and a creepy looking kid who's singing the nursery rhyme, 'who killed cock robin?' Next we see inside the cabin, and the girl is turning a shotgun on herself in a suicide bid, while the man mutters 'do it' in a spooky voice reserved only for maniacs. The young woman jogs up to the hut in perfect steadi-cam, but arrives too late. The girl had already pulled the trigger. It's a nice open for the feature, which is skilfully photographed and smoothly edited, giving it enough power to hold your hopes raised for the rest of the movie. For some reason that I cannot place into words, it brought to my mind the spooky commencement from that all but forgotten horror classic, Alison's Birthday. At first I wondered if the two films shared some type of connection, another than both hailing from related parts of the world? But I haven't managed to search any notes that would confirm this to be true, so I guess it's just a coincidence.Next we learn that the spooky occurrence was only a dream, one that has been plaguing the pretty Cassandra (Tessa Humphries) quite regularly just lately. It seems so realistic that she believes it may be a memory recollection from her childhood, but she's confused and just can't remember the truth. She asks her mother and father if she should have ever witnessed a related course of events, but they suspiciously convince her that it's all in her mind. To be honest, they look as if they have more skeleton's in their closet than the local morgue has corpses, so I wouldn't be surprised if they turn out to be hiding a several shocking secrets beneath their obviously false exterior. Cassie's father is a photographer with more than just a 'photographic' eye for the ladies, and cute later we learn that he's shoulder deep in an affair with one of his projects. Cassie catches her father and Libby together, just as the model was in the middle of saying him that she's fallen pregnant. On top of her continuous restless nights, that's not what the troubled youngster required to hear at that particular time. She heads to the local bar, where she pours her heart out to her mate Robbie, who lends a sympathetic ear. The following night, Libby heads out to a remote beach house after an argument with Steven over why he wont say his missus that he's blown her up. (Why do you think honey?) After an extremely gratuitous shower, an unseen maniac creeps into the house in magnificent first person cinematography, picking up a bread knife en route a la Michael Myers. Some time later, Steve discovers her corpse in his bed with her throat slashed from ear to ear. He also finds a creepy message left at the stage by the killer, which reads: 'who killed cock robin?' The police turn up and question everybody, and we search out that Cassie witnessed the murder through a psychic url that she mysteriously shares with the killer. From here on out the majority of the runtime resolves around the mystery, as we learn more about the characters and their shady backgrounds. And man have they got shady backgrounds! To break up the dialogue, Eggleston chucks in some suspense as the shadowed maniac puts in other appearance. This time, he tries unsuccessfully to murder Cassie's mother in yet other sequence that's packed with credible tension.Eventually the killer manages to receive everyone that's on his list of would-be victims in the same zone around the same time, including the unfortunately unsuspecting heroine. After a cool decapitation by shovel (the first I remember seeing), and other brutal murder, it's left up to Cassie to test and save herself and her family from his malevolent rage. It's looks a tiny more than obvious that Colin Eggleston was greatly inspired by the American titans of eighties horror, such as John Carpenter and Sam Raimi. Previously, he had penned the screenplay for 1980's slasher misfire, Scene Fright, and to tell that he had 'borrowed' the primary plot pointers from Halloween would be a considerable understatement. He unearthed a lot more potential once behind the camera, but still kept the references pouring thick and fast. Check out some of the quick flowing photography in the dream sequence, which clearly owes a nice deal to Raimi's first-person-possession from The Evil Dead. Still, don't keep that vs the man, I mean, you present me a slasher film that doesn't steal from its fellow genre-men and I'll present you a pink elephant with wings and a driving licence! As a matter of fact, Cassandra's imaginative test of the camera is perhaps its most alluring attribute. Take for example the first murder, which packages a nice deal of suspense into a short sequence and skilfully manages to hold the tension running high all the method through. We look on in traditional hand-held shots as the victim climbs into bed, leading us to successfully trust that we're watching from the eyes of the killer. However as the camera zooms in on the female, the knife appears from a various zone than the one we were expecting, which provides a nice jolt and a decent shock-tactic that can be credited as one of Eggleston's own. Let's just tell for argument's sake that Scene Fright was Eggleston's Halloween. Then I guess Cassandra should quite easy be labelled as his Eyes of Laura Mars. The two films share a nice deal, most notably of course, the test of a psychic url between the assassin and heroine. It's been a while since I've seen Mars, so I didn't notice many another similarities that I should instantly remember. But I'm cute certain that it was somewhere on his list of inspirations before he sat down to pen the screenplay for this closely themed thriller. Thankfully, this has a lot more going for it than some credible photography and a several pretty locations. Ian Mason's screeching score supports to deliever the tense atmosphere, and Josephine Cook edits with a praise-worthy confidence that was one of the strongest elements in the brilliance of the opening sequence. It's also stylishly produced for an underground slasher flick, and doesn't deserve to have become as rare since it's initial release. I had never even heard of Cassandra until I found the newest DVD in my local newsagent's bargain bucket. Soon I learned that it was briefly released in the United Kingdom sometime in 1987, but vanished from existence cute later after. Other slice of trivia worth noting (well, type of) is the fact that this was the film debut of actress Tessa Humphries. Don't worry if you don't instantly recognise that name, because possibilities are if you watched chat shows throughout the eighties in the United Kingdom, then you'll probably be more familiar with her father. She's none another than the daughter of the owner of the largest pair of specs in the world, Dame Edna! Luckily for us, the family resemblance is fully non-existent and she's now an pretty young woman. Despite obvious limitations as an actress, she at least holds up fairly well with the rest of the cast that had some previous acting experience. However, watching them fumble through the script like a plank of wood in a forest may prevent that from sounding like much of a compliment. But surprisingly enough, the lack of any truly outstanding performances really didn't spoil the film too much, and I still thoroughly enjoyed watching it. There are of course a several flaws to be found throughout the runtime that may crash the storyline for the more critical viewers. As I told previously, it isn't greatly acted, and some may search the hero driven dramatics a slightly disappointing alternative to a numerous body count. It's also cute simple to guess whom it is that's now killing everyone, and I was expecting a slightly more clever conclusion than the mediocre and somewhat uninspired effect that we ended up with. But the odd ellegant sequence lifted this above the majority of its counterparts, and almost each murder is surprisingly neatly staged. Suspense is one of the toughest things to be found in underground slasher movies, but Colin Eggleston successfully manages to make quite a several credible sequences that give the film a noteworthy professional sheen. As far as Australian stalk and cut efforts go, it's now one of the greatest of its kind...


CASSANDRA is a solid, suspenseful movie that all horror fanatics could see. It has some wonderful, suspenseful moments that are very effective. Its main trouble is that it suffers from being boring and muddled at times. I understand that the director couldn't do nonstop action/horror scenes in all territories throughout the film, but I just want that at times I didn't feel like I was watching Daytime TV. I mean, the relationship between the mother and the daughter. And the husband was having an affair. But putting that aside, everything else about this movie was very well done and very effective. I was now introduced to Austrailian Horror by mistake, only because my mates are so large on the MAD MAX series. Anyway, CASSANDRA is not really cliche-ridden, and that is good. It has some effective moments that will create you look over the muddled ones. **1/2out of****Worth at least one or two looks.



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