Artwork of frightened girl holding hand up, sinister eyes above and forest below, small figure of fleeing girl
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Assault (1971) Spanish 1 Sheet Poster

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Schoolgirls are viciously raped, and one murdered in what may be the only true British giallo. The presence of Suzy Kendall, fresh from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage a year earlier, guarantees it. While police draw up and investigate a list of suspects, the survivor, in a catatonic state, returns to the scene of the crime, only to encounter the killer once more.

With the ‘schoolgirl tease’ theme running rampant, it’s as anachronistic as I Start Counting (1969) a not dissimilar film. Ultimately it’s giallo-lite, as the red herrings and plot are obvious, and there’s some ludicrous plotting towards the climax, but director Sidney Hayers, famed for the sadian Circus of Horrors (1960) and his masterpiece Night of the Eagle (1962) keeps the action bubbling.

Artist: Gilffenay

Aka: In the Devil's Garden (US title, not released until 1973, hence the Exorcist / Devil tie-in), Satan's Playthings

Cast: Suzy Kendall, Frank Finlay, Freddie Jones, Tony Beckley, Lesley-Anne Down, and a pre-stardom David Essex as ‘Man in Chemist Shop’

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