On Wednesday, September 9, the American Cinematheque hosted a double-bill screening of two horror films directed by Pete Walker, House of the Long Shadows (1984) and Schizo (1977). Walker was in attendance at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for a Q&A between the screenings, hosted by our old David Del Valle. The conversation, which lasted nearly 50 minutes, focused mostly on House of the Long Shadows but also covered a wide variety of topics, such as Walker’s approach to the horror genre and his work with cult actress Sheila Keith (who delivered memorably villainous portrayals in several of his films). Those other topics are included in this video; the comments regarding House of the Long Shadows may be included in a follow-up at some point.
Walker is a cult figure in the United States, more well-known in his native England. His exploitation horror films (House of Whipcord, Frightmare, etc) received relatively low-profile theatrical distribution here, mostly at drive-ins and grindhouses (how well we remember trekking out to the old Cameo Theatre on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles to see Schizo back in the 1980s!) Schizo is much in line with Walker’s usual work, but House of the Long Shadows is more upscale and old-fashioned – a swan song to horror icons of an earlier age, starring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine. The Cinematheque’s event probably represents the first time Walker has discussed in work in a public forum in this country.