Directed by James Kelley (writer of Doctor Blood’s Coffin 1962, directed What the Peeper Saw 1972)
Starring two marvelous British character actors-The outrageous smart-alecky Beryl Reid (The Killing of Sister George 1968 directed by Robert Aldrich, The Assassination Bureau 1969, Entertaining Mr. Sloane 1970, Dr. Phibes Rises Again 1972, The Death Wheelers 1973 aka Psychomania co-starring George Sanders, Doctor Who 1982 tv series. Then there’s the always-reflective Flora Robson! (Wuthering Heights 1939, The Sea Hawk 1940, Black Narcissus 1947, Eye of the Devil 1966, The Shuttered Room 1967, Clash of the Titans 1981).
The Beast in the Cellar 1971 aka Are You Dying, Young Man? creates a claustrophobic atmosphere as two odd sisters, Ellie & Joyce Ballantyn living a quiet life in their small bucolic English village are hiding a deep dark secret, while something “human-animal or animal-animal” is savagely killing off men in uniform.
The film possesses a dark and twisted air that becomes hard to breathe as the world around Ellie & Joyce begins to splinter.