WAKE IN FRIGHT
1971, Drafthouse Films, 108 min, Dir: Ted Kotcheff

Among the films that kickstarted a new wave of Australian cinema in the 1970s, WAKE IN FRIGHT was M.I.A. for decades until this stunning HD restoration. Schoolteacher Gary Bond finds himself stranded in the Outback mining town of Bundanyabba, where Donald Pleasence and the other local drunkards soon reduce him to their primitive level. “WAKE IN FRIGHT is a deeply – and I mean deeply – unsettling and disturbing movie. I saw it when it premiered at Cannes in 1971, and it left me speechless. Visually, dramatically, atmospherically and psychologically, it's beautifully calibrated and it gets under your skin one encounter at a time.” - Martin Scorsese.


CIRCUS OF HORRORS
1960, 88 min, UK, Dir: Sidney Hayers

In this lurid British shocker, plastic surgeon Anton Diffring botches a job and flees for France, where he operates successfully on circus owner Donald Pleasence’s daughter. The doctor transforms several disfigured women into beauties to work as circus performers – but when any of them want to leave him, they suffer fatal accidents.


ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN
1975, Walt Disney Pictures, 97 min, Dir: John Hough

Orphaned siblings Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards are pursued by ruthless millionaire Ray Milland and his lawyer Donald Pleasence, who are eager to exploit the children’s psychic powers; fortunately widower Eddie Albert helps the kids escape. Remade in 2009 as RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN.


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