Exposé (also known as House on Straw Hill and Trauma) is one of the more infamous nasties to appear on the DPP list. Infamous because it features a ton of sexual and violent content. Content wrapped up in a psychological horror/thriller that is part exploitation and part arthouse.
Written and directed by James Kenelm Clarke, Exposé stars Udo Kier, Linda Hayden and Fiona Richmond. Kier plays Paul Martin, a novelist who is under pressure to produce his new book from his publishers. He has been renting out a quiet cottage in the British countryside but spends more time having sex with his girlfriend, Suzanne (Richmond).
When he’s not being kinky with her, or stressing about his book, he is having reoccurring nightmares that paralyse him.
All of this gets to much for Paul, she he sends Suzanne away and hires Linda (Hayden) to serve as his secretary and typist. He can dictate the words and she can write the book. It seems like a smart setup and certainly allows Paul to realise his vision.
However, Linda’s demeanour and lack of interest in him sexually frustrates and confuses Paul. He’s not used to someone like this in his life, so he starts to dig and starts to uncover Linda’s secrets. Secrets that hit a lot closer to home than he might ever have expected.
Exposé might be exploitation 101 but that doesn’t detract from its quality. This is an excellent movie with a thrilling story steeped in mystery. An excellent movie packed with sex, violence, and horror. Don’t quite believe just how much sex and violence is in the movie? It had over three minutes cut on its original cinematic release just to get a X rating.
The uncut version? Banned completely in the UK once the nasty scare came about in the 80s.
Of course, as times changed this got relaxed but finding and watching a completely uncut version is still difficult. Most versions you’ll find in the UK have a whopping 51 seconds still cut although there is a suggested uncut version (Severin Films) out and about too.
So, there’s no arguing with the graphic content that the film. Yet, what makes Exposé such a good movie is all of that stuff compliments the story and most of it feels important. It’s a story that builds and builds to a shocking conclusion made more watchable by an (mostly) excellent cast who believe in what they are doing. Although it is disappointing to know that Udo Keir was dubbed (not something he was happy about either), it’s not something that detracts from the watching experience.
The nasty list a veritable mess of poor-quality films. Exposé is not one of them. Nearly 40 years after its initial UK release, it still shocks and entertains.
The Final Score - 8/10