ANDREW GARVEY reviews The Two Faces of Evil, the 12th episode in Hammer House of Horror TV Series
Title: The Two Faces of Evil
First televised: 29 November 1980
Director: Alan Gibson
Screenplay: Ranald Graham
Starring: Anna Calder-Marshall, Gary Raymond, Pauline Delany, Philip Latham and Jenny Laird.
Plot of The Two Faces of Evil
Picking up a clearly disturbed hitchhiker proves a poor idea for the Lewis family.
The maniac causes a terrifying car crash from which the family survive but in the aftermath of which, her husband seems to be acting very strangely.
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
Anna Calder-Marshall has worked in TV and film since the late 1960s, her long career highlighted by starring roles in late 80s’ political thriller mini-series Rules of Engagement and the 1970 film version of Wuthering Heights.
Gary Raymond starred in 1963 fantasy classic Jason and the Argonauts and the 1966 BBC TV series of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Pauline Delany appeared in dozens of TV series in a career running from the mid-50s to the mid-90s.
Philip Latham appeared in 1966 Hammer film Dracula: Prince of Darkness and made his big screen debut in 1955 wartime classic the Dam Busters.
Jenny Laird had major roles in 1960 sci-fi classic the Village of the Damned and 1947 convent drama Black Narcissus.
“It’s alright my dear. You’re quite safe now.”
Review of The Two Faces of Evil
Few episodes of the series place such a burden on one cast member.
Calder-Marshall is seemingly in every scene, and in many of them is the only speaking role.
Luckily she does a fine job (as does lurching menace Gary Raymond) as the confused, frightened and possibly unhinged Janet.
She’s aided by a deliberately mysterious script that raises and, those who like everything neatly wrapped up beware, then leaves so many questions hanging.
That uncertainty is a real strength here, helping make this an unsettlingly creepy watch.
There’s plenty of jarring visuals and oddly behaving characters throughout and even if the action sequences are a little hokey, the use of point-of-view camera shots and slow-motion flashbacks work brilliantly.
Definitely one of the series’ very best.