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  • Writer Paul Martin has scored a massive hit with his first novel and has retreated to a remote cottage in the heart of the English countryside to concentrate on his follow up.He's accompanied by his new secretary Linda Hinstatt,a housekeeper Mrs Aston and occasionally his lover Suzanne.However there is something strange about Linda and soon the bodies begin to pile up."Exposé" along with "Xtro" was classified as a video nasty in the UK.Admittedly it has a few sex/nudity scenes and a little bit of bloody violence,but there is not enough exploitative elements for my liking.Udo Kier is decent as a highly unlikeable writer and Linda Hayden is excellent as his secretary.She openly masturbates few times and has a great lesbian encounter with Fiona Richmond.The violence is quite tame except for the bathroom murder scene which is pretty nasty.The direction is lifeless,the characters are unpleasant and the film is slightly dull.Still I enjoyed it and you should too,if you like exploitation cinema.7 out of 10.
  • I may be on my own with this one, but if you ask me; The House on Straw Hill is an excellent little film. Considering that it's a thriller, the film doesn't feature a great deal of tension or suspense - but the action is kept engaging by the way that it sets up the storyline. The film moves slowly, but in doing so is allowed time to let its characters grow and the plot to build. The film is set mostly in a house surrounded by a cornfield. I'm not sure why these sorts of films always have to take place in distinguished houses, but this location actually provides a good base for this story. The field in which the house is situated ensures that the action always feels isolated from society, and there's something sinister about farm houses in the country anyway. The plot follows a paranoid writer (played Udo Kier) who is about to write a new book. He hires a beautiful blonde to be his secretary to aid with the writing, but this turns out to be a big mistake as the young woman has more of interest in the man than just helping him to write a book.

    This film was included on the infamous 'Video Nasty' list back in the eighties under the title, 'Exposé'. Like a lot of films on the list, this one doesn't feature a great deal in the way of gore and it's a wonder why it ever got banned. House on Straw Hill does have a handful of bloody sequences, but nothing enough to warrant it's banning in my opinion. Udo Kier takes the lead role and delivers another of his bizarre, paranoid performances. It's debatable as to whether or not Kier actually has any acting talent, but he certainly has screen presence and for that reason alone, his films are always worth seeing. He is joined by a distinctly feminine cast, which includes Linda Hayden in the role of the secretary and seventies sex symbol Fiona Richmond as Kier's girlfriend. You'll no doubt be glad to know that the two 'hook up' in one of the movie's central scenes. House on Straw Hill pulls off a great double bluff with the identity of the maniac, and this provides the film with its main backbone. It has to be said that the conclusion is a bit silly, but it's one of the few suspense sequences in the film and you can't expect a film like this to be without silly moments. On the whole, I can see why this isn't widely liked; but I'm definitely a fan.
  • As others have said this is the only British-made film to have been banned in Britain during the "video nasty" scandal. Ironically, all the other films that the British government tried to ban are extremely popular today in Britain , even though most of them are completely worthless dreck (i.e. "The Dorm that Dripped Blood", "Forest of Fear"). But this film, while popular in Britain, is virtually unknown outside of the UK unfortunately--the idiot British censor only really managed to effectively ban one of the halfway-decent "nasties" from the rest of the world.

    The movie features Udo Kier as a weird neurotic writer who wears rubber gloves (but apparently not a condom) during sex. Linda Hayden plays a psychotic secretary he hires, who seems to have some very dark ulterior motives. Kier is always pretty good, even if this isn't one of his best performances. Hayden though is GREAT. She has often expressed regret about this role, perhaps because for a RADA-trained actress, she spends a lot of time naked and/or masturbating. She also takes a lesbian roll in the hay with Kier's statuesque girlfriend (Fiona Richmond), and gets raped "Straw Dogs"-style by two local yokels (perhaps this might partly explain the alternate title), but right afterward she turns into Camille Keaton in "I Spit on Your Grave" (although this movie was actually made before that one). It's kind of hard to complain though that the lovely, lovely Linda Hayden would appear in such sexually graphic role, but really any number of actresses could have done THAT. None of them, however, could have equaled her performance here as a scary psychotic minx.

    Strangely, the original British release of this was called "Expose" and prominently featured Richmond, not Hayden or Keir, in the promotional material, even though she is barely in the movie and couldn't act to save her life. At least, her hot sex scenes with Hayden and with a be-gloved Udo Kier are memorable. (Hell, today, in America at least, they'll take some talent-free pin-up queen like Richmond give her a much bigger part in a much more lame movie and then NOT have her even take her clothes off, so everyone will "take her seriously as an actress". Baaah!) This isn't a great movie (and I prefer the alternate title "House on Straw Hill"), but it's definitely a very decent Brit exploitation film and one of the few "video nasties" that really DESERVES to be seen outside the UK.
  • Sleazy and sordid little British melodrama does have a following, and it's easy to see why. It's an erotically charged film with enough atmosphere, mood...not to mention lots of nudity and sex...to make it pleasing to watch if the potential viewer likes their sleaze. It does feel padded, even at a mere 84 minutes, but it's still quite amusing and has some very memorable sequences.

    Star Udo Kier certainly gives it his all. Even when dubbed by another actor, as he is here, he's fun and interesting as always. He plays Paul Martin, a hotshot yet unstable author who lives in seclusion and who's having trouble getting through his latest work. So what he does is hire a typist, Linda (delectable Linda Hayden of "Blood on Satan's Claw" fame), to assist him. But the seductive young woman only makes things worse, even coming on to Pauls' posh lady friend Suzanne (softcore icon Fiona Richmond) as part of the deal.

    Any fan of this film would be advised to purchase the Blu-ray & DVD combo pack from the Severin company as it shows the film in its entirety, including scenes of Hayden pleasuring herself, both in bed and in a field. Hayden and Richmond show off the goods to great effect, and Hayden delivers a pretty good performance in the bargain. In one scene, Pauls' discovery of Lindas' private possessions is intercut with scenes of her being raped by two local creeps, one of them played by the legendary stuntman Vic Armstrong. Things are further spiced up with some bloody mayhem. It's not hard to see why this would have been labelled a "Video Nasty".

    There's not a whole lot of story here, in the screenplay written by director James Kenelm Clarke, but it does have a decent revelation in the end as to Lindas' motivation.

    Very sexy stuff, overall.

    Eight out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    EXPOSÉ

    Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

    Sound format: Mono

    Not so much a horror film, more a psychological thriller with lashings of nudity and violence, this cheapjack contribution to the 'sex-horror' subgenre of 1970's cinema stars Euro favorite Udo Kier (sporting a dubbed mid-Atlantic accent) as a successful novelist whose guilty secrets have isolated him within a picturesque cottage deep in the English countryside. Under a deadline to complete another book in the wake of his first bestseller, he hires temp secretary Linda Hayden (THE BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW), a ripe young sexpot given to masturbating languorously wherever the fancy takes her (in her bedroom, in the fields surrounding Kier's home) and murdering anyone who disturbs her fragile psychosis. 'Nothing, but nothing, is left to the imagination...' promised the original UK ad-mats, and - true to form - the film wears its exploitation elements like a badge of honor, casting British sex queen Fiona Richmond in her first major role (prompting acres of free publicity in contemporary skin mags) as Kier's highly-sexed girlfriend who enjoys lusty romps with her neurotic paramour before surrendering to a lesbian liaison with the lovely Linda.

    Directed by James Kenelm Clarke (HARDCORE, LET'S GET LAID), produced by Brian Smedley-Aston (VAMPYRES, DEADLY MANOR), and partly financed by Paul Raymond (the smut baron who launched Richmond to fame), the film slows to a crawl between the aforementioned bouts of nudity and violence, until the reasons for Hayden's murderous rampage are unveiled and she launches a merciless assault on the object of her bloody wrath. Though she (reportedly) distanced herself from the production in later interviews, Hayden is the film's trump card, a voluptuous beauty whose ample charms and faux innocence conceal a cat-like fury. Sleaze fans will certainly get their money's worth, though casual viewers may be less forgiving of the movie's many drawbacks. Also known as TRAUMA and THE HOUSE ON STRAW HILL.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Usually a film of this genre is not really worthwhile staying up late for. You know, the sort of film where a mad person goes stalking through a lonely house for one or two people, the odd flash of flesh here and there - that sort of thing.

    If it wasn't for the fact that the RADIO TIMES - that's the TV listings over here in England, folks - had given this film 3 stars out of 5, then I wouldn't have bothered. As it was, I was intrigued as to what good a high-brow magazine saw in this film.

    The plot is fairly simple. Udo Kier plays a writer who lives in a house in a remote area of the English Countryside. He is trying to write his second novel, a follow up to the smash hit that he had previously written. But he can't really type straight onto paper that well, so he decides to hire a secretary, Linda (Linda Haydon). It turns out, however, that Linda is not whom she seems, and soon dead bodies begin to crop up all over the place...

    This film is pure entertainment. There are some incredibly stupid moments, yes, and you can't help wondering in today's world how the managed to get away with the awful dubbing over Udo Kier's voice throughout the film. Fiona Richmond, though very attractive, is reduced in her first big screen role as Kier's girlfriend, and so therefore generally gets slapped about before she is - thankfully - done in.

    But the storyline is a fairly decent one, and the performances - particularly of Linda Haydon - are very good. The scenes of loneliness and eeriness of the place is shown quite well in the setting. There are some naughty scenes, but compared to what we have today these are in fact rather tame.

    It is in the gore where lies the reason for its certificate. Sometimes there are random shots of the stuff, which are explained to a greater depth later on, and sometimes it is directly in-your-face type work.

    On the whole this is a good suspenseful thriller that will entertain and even surprise you on more than one occasion.

    6/10
  • Shinwa18 November 2000
    Unimaginative slab of sexploitation horror has nubile (if slightly pudgy here) Linda Hayden as a disturbed woman who comes to work as secretary for pretentious writer Udo Kier. After a slow buildup, peppered with repeated scenes of Hayden masturbating, she gets to work on knocking off the supporting cast. Hayden's charisma goes a long way to making the film watchable, but it's all a very dry exercise, with little effort in either suspense or characterization making the whole thing seem rather pointless, and the final twist revelation making all of the antics that came before somewhat questionable in motivation. In a supporting role, Fiona Richmond occasionally wears clothes.
  • Intended as a cheap sexploitation/horror film, made for only £50,000, it's interesting to discover what became of Expose - and consider what it might have been. The plot is good - better than an average episode of The Avengers, anyway. A writer (Udo Kier) rents a detached farmhouse in Essex and hires a secretary (Linda Hayden) to type his somewhat improbable manuscript.

    There are low ceilings, claustrophobic surrounds and a small ensemble of performers including Fiona Richmond, who, as Kier's girlfriend, stimulates him so much that during intimacy with her, he feels the need to wear latex gloves. It all augurs well, the soundtrack's good too and I was pleased to see a vignette from talented Karl Howman, who I first saw in the exceptional National Youth Theatre production of Zigger Zagger.

    The sex isn't outrageous by today's standards - though not quite the sort of thing you'd come across in Last of the Summer Wine. Funnily enough, I first discovered this film due to an innocuous appearance of Linda Hayden in another sitcom, Some Mother's Do 'Ave Em.

    Her role in this is not dissimilar to that of Susan George in Straw Dogs; on one occasion, as she towers over her drunken employer, lying on the floor staring up at her, panic-stricken, I felt distinctly uneasy. Coming from Stanmore, near to where I grew up, she might at least have considered towering over me, after an evening of inebriation in a pub near the end of the Northern Line. Charlotte Rampling, a fellow actress from the neighbourhood, who appeared in The Night Porter, amongst other things, became a much bigger star. Linda could - and perhaps should - have emulated her. She was apparently disappointed Fiona Richmond enjoyed star billing on the posters and that the film was advertised as a skinflick. Fair enough, but perennial masturbation was not depicted so much in mainstream films in those days (these days, it's almost compulsory, although most associated with American boys in teenage coming of age movies).

    Suffice to say, with a little bit more suspense, erotica and sensuality rather than sex and perhaps one more twist, this could have been a Witchfinder General or Wicker Man. Perhaps. As it is, it's interesting, worth a look and in the end, hangs together rather well.
  • Writer Paul Martin (Udo Kier) is holed up in his house (on Straw Hill) and needs an assistant to type his dictation. So he hires Linda Hindstatt (Linda Hayden), who seems pleasant enough. But Linda is a strange character, and her motives might not be as legit as they seem.

    I really enjoyed this film, and I want to make that clear up front. It wasn't a fantastic horror story, the plot wasn't very strong and it wasn't even that thrilling. But it's purpose was never any of these things: it was exploitation, and I think the writer/director did a marvelous job in achieving this kind of production.

    There's dirty sex (including latex gloves for some unexplained reason), plenty of nudity, females who enjoy their own bodies, a scene that may or may not be rape (the victim doesn't seem to mind). I don't know if this is art, but it made for a film that can hold your attention.

    The tone is somewhat darker than your average film, but not too dark. The copy I watched came on a videotape with a preview for "The Stuff". After that, I was thinking this might be a rather cheesy or b-grade film, but that is not at all so (although some of the blood has an unusual orange tint).

    The theme shouldn't be new to anyone who's seen plenty of movies. The "writer in solitude" theme is pretty standard -- "The Shining", "Misery", "Secret Window" all instantly come to mind (and those are just King films). There are two additional characters -- harassers and possible rapists -- who really add a new flavor to the piece. Their motives are unclear and they are so one-dimensional that it seems they've come from a comic book. One of them is wearing a shirt that seems to say "I am a vampire" (though I couldn't make it out clearly).

    This is a good movie if you crave some exploitation. Don't expect an amazing plot, and don't try to impress your girlfriend with it (unless she's really odd). There seems to be some clamor online calling for a nice DVD transfer of the film, and I support them on that. I would happily own the DVD of "House on Straw Hill" (as my copy is titled). Kier's finest since "Mark of the Devil".
  • Your reaction to 'House On Straw Hill' will depend on how big a fan of Udo Kier you are. If like me you think he's one of the coolest actors in the history of cinema you'll find this to be a fascinating piece of 70s exploitation. Udo plays Paul Martin, an arrogant and cold best-selling novelist having trouble completing his latest opus. After several aborted attempts around the globe he ends up in a secluded country house in England. When he hires a new secretary (Linda Hayden) he gets more than he bargained before. She is polymorphously perverse and is harboring a secret. In between dictation sessions Udo gets all hot and bothered with this mysterious newcomer. Meanwhile corpses begin to appear in unexpected places. Who is this woman and what does she want? Watch 'House On Straw Hill' and all will be revealed. A pretty cool movie all round with a strong performance from (an apparently dubbed) Kier, and plenty of nudity to satisfy smut fans.
  • EXPOSE, aka THE HOUSE ON STRAW HILL, is a one-time video nasty now consigned to be forgotten by the weight of years. The truth is that it's a grotty little low-budget thriller that borrows some of the rape-revenge material of STRAW DOGS and turns it into a unique but only semi-successful tale of madness and murder.

    The tale features a dubbed Udo Kier playing a writer who retires to his remote country home in order to work on his latest novel. While there, he must contend with the antics of his randy mistress Fiona Richmond (a one-time softcore starlet) and youthful secretary Linda Hayden (BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW).

    Nothing much actually happens in this movie, and the expected bloodshed and sexual material is relatively tame by modern standards; certainly it has been eclipsed by far more explicit stuff in the past couple of decades. It's hard to see what all the fuss was about, really. Saying that, the film does boast a good performance from Hayden, at least, and it contains curios unique to its era: cameos from future stars Karl Howman and Vic Armstrong, and a genuinely sleazy, unsettling atmosphere straight out of the 1970s. No classic for sure, but well worth a look for fans of the material and the era.
  • Before conducting any research I automatically assumed this film would be a blatant rip-off of the contemporary popular Rape & Revenge exploitation movies. Especially considering the alternate and much more savory-sounding title "House on Straw Hill", I honestly thought it would be a cheap and even sleazier rehash of both "Last House on the Left" and "Straw Dogs". Wrong …though not entirely! Basically, this IS some sort of sex and revenge movie, but not one that is playing in the same type of 70's league. "Exposé" is a more stylish, psychological and ambitious variant on the retaliation-theme, with a slow atmospheric building up and a lot of attention given to decors, locations and choreography. Makes sense, actually, as this is a prominent British production with a decent budget and proper cast including cult B-movie legend Udo Kier ("Flesh for Frankenstein", "Blood for Dracula") and Linda Hayden ("Blood on Satan's Claw", "Madhouse"). Paul Martin is a struggling writer, who's put under a lot of pressure to deliver a second novel because his debut novel was such an unexpectedly immense hit. Paul moved to a quiet and isolated countryside mansion for inspiration, but still struggles with writer's block and personal issues like nightmarish hallucinations when he makes love to his girlfriend. His agent arranges for a typist to come over and help him, but there's something dark and dangerous about this girl. Linda masturbates practically all the time and seems to have come to Paul Martin with a personal vendetta to settle. Try and avoid reading synopsis's around here on the website, as most of them bluntly reveal Linda's intentions and motivations. The story of "Exposé" is simplistic yet highly effective and compelling – albeit a little predictable – and it's an astonishingly beautiful movie to look at. Quite surprising fact that is, seeing the film got included in the infamous list of Video Nasties at one point. The settings and scenery are delightful and James Kenelm Clarke's direction is much more sophisticated than you would expect from this type of cinema. Certain sequences literally ooze with suspense, like when Paul drives his malfunctioning car down a mountain at high speed whilst the mysterious Linda seduces his girlfriend back at the mansion. The body count is rather limited, but the few moments of carnage are quite gruesome. The sex footage is lewd and gratuitous but nothing too extreme. Udo Kier is one handsome looking dude and Linda Hayden is one indescribably hot looking cult siren. Together, they form a fantastically enticing duo. Naturally, there also are a couple of obvious defects and shortcomings, like the underdeveloped character of Suzanne and the disappointing anti-climax in the cornfield.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Expose, also know under the title The House on Straw Hill, is set in the English countryside in a large house rented out by writer Paul Martin (Udo Kier) as he tries to complete his second novel. However things are not going that well, perhaps it's the disturbing visions he has? Or maybe his large breasted assistant Suzanne (Fiona Richmond) is distracting him too much with their nocturnal activities? Then again it could simply be writer's block, in an attempt to get back on track Paul hassles his publisher to hire a temporary typist so he can dictate. Paul is sent an attractive young lady named Linda Hindstatt (Linda Hayden) who at first seems perfect but that impression doesn't linger for long, why does she masturbate over photo's of Paul? Why does she masturbate in the middle of a corn field? Why does she masturbate in bed at night? Why does she have a dildo in her suitcase? What secret is she hiding? As time passes the house on straw hill becomes embroiled in seedy sex & brutal violence...

    This English production was written & directed by James Kenelm Clarke & has gained a certain amount of notoriety since it was banned & placed on the 'Video Nasties' list here in the UK during the early eighties. I don't really know why but I rather like Expose. The script doesn't quite know what it wants to be & features an unusual & heady mixture of murder, gore, mystery, intrigue, sleaze, sex, nudity, rape & a implausible twist ending that when all pieced together astonishingly works. The pace is measured & is sometimes slow but at the same time I found it fascinating to watch, the opening scenes feature Paul putting on a pair of rubber gloves before having sex with Suzanne! Why? I want to know why he puts on rubber gloves before having sex, I honestly can't think of a single reasonable explanation as to why! Linda masturbates all the time & what about that rape scene? As Linda is raped at gunpoint she starts to stroke the barrel of the shotgun in a very suggestive manner if you catch my drift... I just think Expose is a great blend of weirdness, violence, sex & sleaze although the story could have been better if the mystery elements had been developed & expanded upon, I mean there's a killer running around but there are only three people in the house & it's far from difficult to work out the killers identity.

    Director Clarke does a decent job & I just love the look & feel of Expose. It's the whole era, the Essex locations, the cars, clothes, dialogue & the quaint English countryside. The notion that the two rapists ride around on bikes is just so English! There is a gory slit throat, someone is bloodily stabbed in a shower, the rapists are shot & there are some gory suicide flashbacks. There's plenty of sexual content & it's pretty graphic.

    Technically the film is good & while it isn't going to win any awards for artistic merit it's more than acceptable. The acting was OK, Hayden is pretty attractive (apparently she hates Expose & regrets doing it), Richmond has a really bad tan & Kier is always good value for money & watchable if nothing else. Karl Howman is one of the rapists, English users may recognise him from the cheesy 'Flash' washing up liquid commercials!

    I really liked Expose, I'm not sure I could recommend it because you have to be of a certain disposition but for low budget exploitation fans this is a must. Sex, rape, blood, violence, murder & sleaze, what more do you want?
  • Udo Kier is a novelist who opts to stay at his secluded country house while he's trying desperately to write his new book. After a new secretary (Linda Hayden) is sent by his agent to help make the novel get done quicker, a series of ghastly murders occur. This film is at turns boring, tedious, and pretentious. The only reason I would conceivably recommend it is for just the sheer beauty of Fiona Richmond. But if that's all you want, seek out James Clarke's "Hardcore" from 1977, wherein her role is meatier. Furthermore, the movie didn't score any points at all for dubbing over Mr. Kier's great voice.

    My Grade: D-

    Eye Candy: Linda Hayden and Fiona Richmond both bare all
  • adriangr24 July 2014
    4/10
    Drab
    Warning: Spoilers
    This film caused a stir when it was classed as a "Video Nasty" in the mid 1908s. but before then I don't remember it being reviewed or mentioned in most reference sources. Which is probably because it's mundane and forgettable.

    The film sees Udo Keir play a reclusive writer who has rented a remote cottage to bang out his next raunchy novel. Advertising for a typist produces sultry Linda Hayden as the (presumably) only applicant. As soon as she arrives you can tell from her frosty demeanour that she has an agenda of her own. Udo has his own problems, being troubled by continual flashbacks to some bloody trauma. The typing of the novel begins, intercut with a couple of appearances by British model Fiona Richmond as Udo's lover/prostitute, and couple of deaths of incidental characters as well.

    None of this is very engaging or gripping. The performances are almost all pretty bad. Fiona Richmond really has no acting talent at all, her inclusion in the film is purely for visual purposes (she gets naked in every scene she appears in). Linda Hayden does have proved acting ability, but here she seems to have been directed to sleepwalk her way through the script. Udo Kier is dubbed, so his performance has no depth at all, especially as he is given some very ridiculous things to do, especially in his sex scenes with Richmond. Actually, all the sex scenes are awkward and embarrassing, lacking any erotic charge and very poorly simulated. The same goes for the scenes of violence, in which those tiresome knives that squirt blood when drawn over skin are the tool of choice - I can't believe that when any of the knife attack footage was reviewed after shooting, they didn't realise how bad it was.

    Eventually the thing comes to a close with a rather unsurprising "reveal", and the credits finally roll - thank god. It's hard to believe that "Expose" was banned as a video nasty with content as lame as this, but that's what hype and hysteria does. Apparently this new Bluray release is uncut, so that means the British VHS release was even less impressive than this - if that's possible.

    Is it worth watching? If you like lots of female nudity, no matter how un-erotic it looks, then yes. Actually Linda Hayden comes across as far more alluring than Fiona Richmond, who I can now only remember for unwittingly displaying a mouth almost completely full of gold filings. But does it have tension, thrills and a gripping story? No.
  • I know the famous and scandalous success of this brilliant film written and directed by James Clarke in 1975, the most exciting moment for movies in the British industry. "The house on Straw Hill" is a suspense thriller with a lot of blood and oniric sexual scenes with calculated violence and slowly intimate moments. No-one knows the reasons of the characters, specially Udo Kier -a paranoid writer with blood nightmares- and Lynda Hayden -a mysterious secretary with bad intentions-. The music, the splendid locations and the beautiful photography of the woods and the manor in Hatfield Peverel is the basic attraction of this horrific and erotic film banned in United Kingdom. Lynda Hayden has her moments as a killer female character and a very sexual presence described by the filmmaker around the movie. Udo Kier, in their best moments before -he did "Story of O" in the same year- is vulnerable and caothic as a worried writer obsessed with finishing their second novel and their traumas. A very recommended production for fans of horror movies in the seventies. This is a very rarely piece of blood, suspense and sex that today follows provoking a really commotion in audiences.
  • The only British film to be included on the infamous 'video nasty' list of the 1980's, Expose, also known as The House on Straw Hill, is tailor-made for inclusion - a sleazy, often unforgivably dull piece of exploitation featuring lots of sex, blood and B-movie favourite Udo Kier. Kier plays writer Paul Martin, who, following the huge success of his debut novel, moves to the remote British countryside to focus all of his attention on his follow-up - an erotic piece he believes could win him the Pulitzer prize.

    Paul is plagued by visions of having sex with a well-endowed woman and his hands covered in blood, images he doesn't understand and which are hampering his efforts to get words onto paper. He calls for an assistant, and he is sent the young and beautiful Linda (Linda Hayden) who begins to efficiently type up his dictations. Yet something is not quite right with Linda - she sends Paul's faithful housekeeper away, carries sex toys and a large knife in her suitcase, and seems to open herself up sexually to Paul only to repel his advances.

    Comparisons to Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs (1971) are obvious (the countryside setting, the inclusion of the word 'straw' in the alternative title and in the script, and Hayden is a dead-ringer for Susan George), but Expose shares none of its quality. The sex scenes are gratuitous and ridiculously loud, and the gang-rape scene fails to garner any sympathy for the victim due to being shot like a soft- core porno. What comes in between is tedious to say the least, and the events play out with all the complexity of a soap opera. Technically, the film looks quite nice, and the performance of Hayden adds a layer of intrigue to her character, but without Mary Whitehouse and her cries of moral outrage, Expose would have been lost in the annals of exploitation.
  • This movie has the triple distinction of being one of the 72 (though some sources state there were really 74!) infamous "Video Nasties" crackdown that took place in England during the first half of the 1980s, one of the 39 among them that were successfully prosecuted and subsequently suffered from a long-term ban, and also the only British film to actually make the list! Now that I have watched it for myself, I cannot say the picture does in fact deserve all the attention that comes with such notoriety but, considering the quality of the sheer majority of those "Video Nasties", this is definitely a step-up! Incidentally, EXPOSE' has a couple of other more appropriate monikers: TRAUMA and THE HOUSE ON STRAW HILL (which is the title borne by the copy I acquired), and I am pretty sure the latter was intentionally evoking both STRAW DOGS (1971) and LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972), two even more infamous films of the era; to be fair, it does owe something to each of them but, to the movie's credit, it also has its own identity.

    The plot deals with a novelist (a dubbed Udo Kier – as it happens, the star of yet another "Video Nasty" i.e. FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN {1974}) who has acquired instant celebrity status with his first book and is having a hard time following it up (though how he pretends to even be considered for the Pulitzer Prize with a piece of erotic fiction filled with such descriptions of someone engaging in the sexual act "like a virtuoso on his Stradivarius", to say nothing of blatant errors in typography picked up in close-ups, is beyond me!). To this end, he retires to a county house in England and, in order to speed up the writing process and meet his publisher's deadline, he is sent a secretary (Linda Hayden). The girl, however, has an agenda of her own – tied up with the nightmare that Kier himself keeps having (his neurosis extends to donning rubber gloves while making love to his girlfriend, softcore superstar Fiona Richmond!) – and soon proves to be even more disturbed than he is!

    The STRAW DOGS connection is particularly evidenced by the scenes involving a couple of yokels – one of whom, amusingly, sports a T-shirt boasting the inscription "I'm a Vampyre") – who importune Hayden when she arrives at the train station and then get to rape her in the fields outside Kier's house. The incident, however, does not traumatize her in the way that it should (which is, perhaps, another clue to her unhinged state-of-mind) since, for one thing, she disposes herself of the duo pretty easily but, also, because she had been repeatedly masturbating to the photo of the man who appears as a murder victim in Kier's visions (she even absents herself from typing to go have a 'quick one', with her employer subsequently pointing out "You've been a long time", to which she giddily quips, "In coming?"). One wonders why Hayden does not just 'get it on' with Kier (even if she does, eventually, as well as Richmond when the latter turns up at the house!)...but, of course, it has something to do with her mission there – which is to see the novel through before the revenge (I predicted the outcome of this, by the way: Kier is, in fact, a fraud who has not only stolen the manuscript of the true author and passed it off as his own but he has even killed the man, who happens to be Hayden's hubby) can be actuated. An interesting scene in this regard has the leading lady so into her work by the end that she literally finishes the book for the hero.

    Therein, then, lies a typical problem with this type of fare: even if, deep down, we sympathize with Hayden's motives, her extreme methods still decree that she is made out to be a villainess and, consequently, has to pay for her actions – but it also means that Kier himself, whose selfish/callous behavior actually put the whole thing in motion, is ultimately let off the hook (despite being the recipient of several knife wounds which will surely make him think that much harder on his next career move!) thanks to the eleventh-hour and, frankly, WTF intervention of one of the rapists who has unaccountably survived a gunshot to the face!! Apart from those instances already mentioned, the violence – not all that gory given its reputation (incidentally, my copy ran for 80 minutes, which I take to be a PAL conversion of the original 84-minute duration) – is directed at an old and nagging housekeeper (when she refuses to leave) as well as Kier's girlfriend (after Hayden has tricked her employer so that the two can remain alone). The sex, on the other hand, is ample and rather strong for the time but still too-obviously simulated (especially Richmond performing fellatio on Kier). For the record, Hayden and Richmond would later reunite for the same director in LET'S GET LAID (1978) – with the film he made in between, HARDCORE (1977), being a fictionalized biopic of Richmond (who even portrays herself)!
  • I love old horror movies. The sleazy, underground B-movies that have more people seeing them today in the anything-goes digital era than they did decades ago when they were released but had trouble finding their audiences. I also love Udo Kier. He is one of my favorite actors with a unique and beautiful voice to match his unique and beautiful face. Linda Hayden is a lovely Brit actress who starred in sexy roles in horror films like "Taste The Blood Of Dracula" and "Blood On Satan's Claw". However, this meritless hunk of trash is a blemish on all three of those categories. Pretty much one trashy sex scene after the next joined together by stupid dialogue and a few kills, but nothing that even comes close to entertaining. AND they used another actor to dub in Udo's voice! - Blasphemy! If you wanna see a porn rent a porn. If you wanna see a vintage sleazy horror film, there are many great examples out there, but this incoherent mess is certainly not one of them. Udo is a book writer who goes to a secluded cottage to write his next book. He has disturbing nightmarish visions, hires Linda Hayden to come be his secretary. Then people start getting killed. And having sex. And getting killed. And having sex.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I found this on You Tube under the title "House on Straw Hill" This was a really bizarre film. It never truly bored me, but I really failed to grasp what the point of it all was. We get some really weird dream sequences at the start from our main character (Udo Kier) That really don't amount to anything, other than a hint as what might happen later on. It has plenty of sexual scenes with males and females. I will admit seeing Linda Hayden & Fiona Richmond make out with one another in rather explicit fashion was definitely enjoyable to watch, but other than that it wasn't all that great. House on Straw Hill tries to give us a mystery that lasts until the very end of the movie, even though we know something isn't right with Linda Hayden's character, and it's blatantly obvious she is the one causing the all trouble. Udo Kier is properly intense, but he is done in by awful dubbing. His character is not very sympathetic either. He knocks woman around, and flirts with them unabashedly. Linda Hayden is drop dead gorgeous, and I loved her character, but the way her character is actually written is very predictable. Her motives are never fully made clear, despite the ending, and none of it made any sense. It does have some blood here and there, but not much of it; it's mostly just soft-core porn. It really is quite the oddity

    Final Thoughts: I wouldn't say I disliked it…but I can't say I enjoyed it much either. It's too weird for its own good, and it all felt like a blur to me once it was over. It's getting a blu-ray release, so die hard horror fans may wanna check this puppy out. It's worth a look for curiosity's sake, but nothing more.

    5/10
  • Exposé (1976)

    ** out of ****

    Directed by James Kenelm Calrke

    With Udo Kier, Linda Hayden and Fiona Richmond.

    Laughlable intent of a thriller with Kier as a novelist who hired Hayden as a new sensual and mysterious assistant in a house far from the city. A video - nasty, filmed in a beautiful set but full of sex without necessity; but it worth it if you want to see a young, handsome and certainly demented, Kier. Well Known as "House on Straw Hill". Released in Colombia as "Extraña Fascinación".
  • Expose (aka The House on Straw Hill) is extremely graphic. The sex is graphic, with gloating scenes of love making, masturbation and a scene near the end which looks suspiciously like anal sex. The violence is graphic too, with a fair bit of spilled blood and sadistic detail during the running time.

    Udo Kier gives an OK performance as a novelist who murdered a colleague in order to steal his latest manuscript. He is now working on a new book, with young secretary Linda Hayden to help him, but he can't seem to shrug off uncontrollable hallucinations about the crime he has committed.

    The director indulges in some flashy film-making techniques, but for all this pomp and circumstance there is no hiding the fact that this is pure exploitation fodder. I believe that this may well be the most heavily censored and graphic British film ever made, so it worth seeing for that dubious distinction (especially if you can track down the uncut 117 minute version.... very rare though). However, it's not really a very good movie and once you've experienced it, it is unlikely that you will want to watch it again. Footnote: If you're a fan of British sex siren Fiona Richmond, you'll be pleased to know that she spends most of this movie stark naked.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is quite simply the most atmospheric film I have ever seen. It is set in absolutely beautiful Essex countryside and the film certainly makes the most of this. The house of the title is also stunning (if you like period farmhouses with lots of original features) and added greatly to the sense of isolation and suspense that this film contained in bucket-loads. All the main cast were very convincing with Linda Hayden being particularly impressive as the psychotic wife of Simon Hindstatt who was driven to topping himself by Paul Martin (Udo Kier), who Linda targets to get even. Even the minor supporting cast were impressive. I thought that Patsy Smart played the busybody housekeeper to perfection and some of her scenes are the most entertaining in the film. Here constant references to 'the Commander and Mrs Percival' had me in stitches. Even the gardener was presented as 'sinister' even though all he did was dig the garden!!! It was all about camera angles and timing. Obviously a low budget film, which probably helped them makers knowing that they had to rely on creating atmosphere and good performances from the actors rather than CGI or other fancy and costly effects. I haven't seen the remake yet (which includes another performance from Linda Hayden), but i have high expectations.
  • A writer struggling to complete his second novel retreats to a remote cottage in Essex and hires a pretty typist to assist him in completing the book, but soon discovers that he should be more careful about who he employs in the future...

    Exposé's closing credits only lists six cast members, but what a cast it is: crazy-eyed Udo Kier as best-selling author Paul Martin; gorgeous Linda Hayden as his sexy typist; big breasted softcore queen Fiona Richmond as Paul's lusty lover; 'Brush Strokes' star Karl Howman and legendary stuntman Vic Armstrong as a pair of rapist scumbags; and UK TV regular Patsy Smart as the housekeeper (OK, I've never actually heard of Patsy until now, but it seemed unfair to not mention her).

    With this excellent line up, plus plenty of steamy sex and several nasty scenes of violence (highlights being a double shotgun killing and a bloody knife attack in a bathroom), director James Kenelm Clarke delivers a sleazy, slow burning psychological thriller guaranteed to keep any fan of exploitation movies more than happy for the duration. Cult favourite Kier is his usual reliable self, and Richmond adds a certain novelty factor (this was her first major role outside of soft porn), but it is the delicious Hayden who steals the show, at first appearing all sweet and innocent, but soon revealing her true colours as she regularly stops work to masturbate, murder, and eventually get it on with Richmond in an eye-popping lesbian clinch. Whew!