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Name That Trauma :: Reader Diana N. on a Sacrifice Stopped by a Shooting

March 25th, 2009 by aunt john · 10 Comments

I just love your site, and am getting lots of good tips on movies to see. Also, it helped me to revisit a horror that terrified me for years after watching it at the tender age of 14, it was PIECES. It truly made me feel sick for a very long time. I hired it again when I was about 23, but just couldn’t bring myself to watch it; the memories of the horror were too strong. I am happy to say that after discovering your site and seeing a clip on your youtube page, that at the more mature age of 39 I was able to sit through the whole movie, and even giggle a little. Yay!!! The power has been taken away from that particular nastie.

My find-that-film has been bugging me for at least 15 even 20 years. I watched it when I was very young, maybe 8 years old. I was born in 1970 and the movie was probably from the ‘60s or ‘70s. A HAMMER horror type (don’t think it is though) with a male actor, PETER CUSHING type (probably not him though). The only scene I remember which I think was near end of movie…. a woman tied up and possibly gagged lying on an alter/bed type thing, in a church(?), under a white sheet. Next to her a man with a knife, looking all possessed about to plunge knife into the woman for a sacrifice; woman squirming away from position of knife raised above her, then suddenly another man bursts in and shoots the knife wielding man in the back. The woman was a real woman (not a child), naked but covered by a white sheet. She is on the bed/alter and fully aware of the pending sacrifice, but not willing, there is fear in her eyes and you can see her move her body under the sheet trying to get away from the knife, which the man is holding above her. You can see she wants to escape and thinking by moving her body she will avoid the plunge of the knife, this is why I think she is tied and gagged, not a mesmerized victim as you often find in these types of movies. Anyway, someone bursts into the room/church and shoots the villain in the back. End of movie.

Hope you can help. Glad to get the nightmare of PIECES out of my system, now just to figure out this little bugger….

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 threeatticNo Gravatar // Mar 25, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    This is just a shot in the dark, but could that possibly be the end of the Vincent Price House of Wax? It’s honestly a bit dimly remembered from my childhood too, but I seem to recall a similar situation at the climax. Especially the woman’s nekkididity, that stuck with me for some reason.

  • 2 Diana N.No Gravatar // Mar 26, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Thanks threeattic, unfortunately that is not the movie. Just had a look on youtube at House of Wax. Waaahhhh!!!!!! I am going crazy trying to figure this out 🙁

  • 3 HowardNo Gravatar // Apr 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I’m a bit late with this, but could it be The Dunwich Horror? Not Hammer but AIP, but it’s the same late-60s Eastmancolor kind of look. It’s got a woman on an altar (Sandra Dee, putting Gidget behind her), a man with a knife (Dean Stockwell, who I wouldn’t necessarily call a Peter Cushing type, but chacun à son goût and all that), and a last-minute savior (Ed Begley, Sr., or as I call him, Old Man Begley), but no gun that I recall. Just “Yog Sothoth!” shouted over and over. (Man, I need to watch this one again.) Here’s a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1NFE-tIU0c — the relevant bits start about four minutes in.

    There’s a lot of woman-on-alter/man-with-a-knife movies out there from this period out there, but Dunwich was on TV all the freakin’ time.

    Another possibility is The Devil Rides Out. The scene in question ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Klbgy1r7_Tk ) occurs at the climax of the film. It’s a Hammer film. Christopher Lee was in it, but he played a good guy. That may have put you in mind of Cushing. The villain was played by [runs off to check IMDB] Charles Gray, who is a bit beefier than Cushing; more of  a Aleister Crowley type.  Again, this one has no gunshot.

  • 4 HowardNo Gravatar // Apr 7, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Hmm… Now that I’m thinking about it, there are more virgin sacrifice scenes in movies from this era than I can possibly account for. Just found this clip of the trailer for Dracula AD 1972: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glz2-A-eVJA&feature=related

    If you don’t blink, you’ll see about 1/5 of a second of the scene with the young naked woman under a sheet. I cannot recall if the scene ends with a gunshot, though, and I don’t have the time or inclination to dig out the film and watch the whole thing. If your movie is Dracula AD 1972, then it is indeed a Hammer film, and the Peter Cushing type would be Peter Cushing himself, but this movie has such a horrible reputation that you may simply be subconsciously unwilling to admit it to the canon.

    (Some say the Dracula AD 1972 was the crucifix that drove Hammer to the brink of madness; The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires was the stake through its heart, and To the Devil a Daughter was the sunlight streaming through a gap in the vault that turned it to dust.)

  • 5 Diana N.No Gravatar // Apr 8, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Thanks Howard, I wondered about the Dunwich Horror myself, years ago, however it is not that one.  It is definitely not The Devil Rides Out.  I am not sure about Dracula AD 1972, I will have to look at that one. Hippies and vampires, sounds hilarious.  My dad always hired horrors which is why I was watching them at a young age….many a sleepless night was spent in my childhood and youth after watching these moves. What can I say, I got hooked.  Last week I saw a clip on youtube, which was very similar to my memory, only no gun shot at the end. The movie is Twins of Evil and early on, there is a scene which is a good depiction of my memory….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUu4pWje_qY I really don’t think it was that though, as I remember watching Twins of Evil in my early twenties, and my memory of the man bursting in with the gun really stuck in my head.  You’re right, there are sooooo many similar scenes from that era. I’ll try to track down the Dracula one….

  • 6 Diana N.No Gravatar // Apr 27, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Hi again, another update.  I don’t think it was the dracula movie.  I saw enough clips on youtube to figure out it wasn’t this one.  I remember the camera at one point was directly above the woman with the knife holding man on her left, so on the right side of the screen.  You get the image of the woman trying to move her body away to the other side of the alter.  There may have been another scene in this movie where someone was being chased and the person (female) hides in bed behind a sheet, the she gets shot through the sheet, as obviously its not gonna do much to protect her.  That might have even been another movie, but it has been tattoed into my memory. I always wondered why a person whould hide under a sheet when someone else had a gun…go figure….anyone, anywhere???? I am slowly going insane…….:-) 

  • 7 senskiNo Gravatar // Jul 2, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Diana, I hope you’re still checking in periodically – I’m wondering if your movie isn’t 1960’s “City of the Dead,” also released under the title “Horror Hotel” –


    It seems to fulfill several of your criteria: British, not Hammer (Amicus), a Peter Cushing-type actor (Lee?), a woman being sacrificed on a altar underneath a church in its catacombs, she’s wearing white (but not a sheet), and a gun prevents the murder. Whew! Perhaps you can glean enough from the trailer. The DVD is available as “City of the Dead.” It’s a wonderful lost film that I last saw I few years ago. I have my copy in storage with about 7000 others – if this looks familiar, let us know and I’ll dig it out and give it a thorough reviewing, ok?

    Come to think of it, she’s wearing a sheet on the DVD cover, isn’t she?


  • 8 Diana N.No Gravatar // Jul 3, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Hi Senski…yes I still check in at least every second day…still obsessed. I do enjoy the website anyway. Have watched loads of great movies I would never have heard of or considered because of this site. First I will say Good Call on your suggestion of City of the Dead/Horror Hotel. Very like my description. I did check out enough links on the wonderful entity that is youtube to discover that alas it was not this gem of a movie. Thankfully I am not currently going crazy insane any more than I was a few months ago, however I am still obsessed enough to check this site every couple days. I really appreciate any input or suggestions. I am also happy to say that I recieved today my very own copy of ‘Eden Lake’ (not yet available in Australia), bought it on ebay, luckily I have a multi region dvd player…cant wait to check it out and its all thanks to this wonderful website as without kindertrauma, I would never have heard of it. (just watched ‘May’ (brilliant) and original, uncut ‘Last House On The Left’ (good, I can see why it was contoversial when it came out, however not as shocking in these times)…cheers Senski, and Kindertrauma friends…..

  • 9 bluegrasslassNo Gravatar // Jun 10, 2010 at 5:10 am

    I’ve never seen it, but ever since reading Diana N’s e-mail I have been haunted by am image that I knew I had in one of my many books on horror films, but thanks to my hubby’s “tidying-up” I couldn’t find the book. BUT  I DID remember the name of the actress featured in said image – Yutte Stensgaard.
    Is it, perhaps,

    Lust for a Vampire?

  • 10 Diana N.No Gravatar // Jun 12, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Hi Bluegrasslass…I have seen lust for a vampire, but when I was in my 20’s….. I’ll have another look at it, you never know, maybe my memories have become mixed up, stay tuned

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