MARIA MARTEN, OR THE MURDER IN THE RED BARN (murder in the old red barn) (1935 U.K.) D: MILTON ROSMER W: RANDALL FAYE P: GEORGE KING
It was nice to see cheap grand guignol theatre legend Tod Slaughter`s debut feature, but it`s not as outrageous as his later entries (usually directed by King). Here he`s an evil Town Squire who rapes and kills a gypsy girl and blames her boyfriend. It`s based on a true life murder from 1820, and had previously been filmed at least three times. With Dennis Hooey and Lester Sharpe. An interesting coda: the skull of the real Squire William Corder (who was hanged in public at the age of 23, the ever-humble Slaughter obviously thought he could pull that off at the age of 40, and he was still doing it on-stage until death in his 70`s!) was later said to haunt those that came into possession of it.

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