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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

House of Mortal Sin aka 'The Confessional' [Blu-ray]


(Pete Walker, 1976)


Pete Walker is a British film director, writer and producer, who, in the 60s and 70s, confined his output to primarily horror and sexploitation films, often blurring the line and overlapping the two genres. Walker's work was initially dismissed as pedestrian, however some contemporary critics, found enlightened and challenging subtexts in his oeuvre of commercially-made exploitation films. As with Hammer Studios Walker's film are being revisited. The latter for their social relevance which frequently contained attractive young women at odds with the moral codes of mainstream society. He has stated "All I wanted to do was create a bit of mischief."

Walker's work is being recognized on Blu-ray by Kino (Redemption), BFI and others. A list is below:


For Men Only (1968)

Man of Violence (1969)

The Comeback


Die Screaming, Marianne


The Flesh and Blood Show


Frightmare (1974)

House of Whipcord


House of Mortal Sin (1976)



Home Before Midnight (1979)

House of the Long Shadows


The Pete Walker Collection I

The Pete Walker Collection II


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia-Warner Distributors

Video: Redemption / Kino



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:44:39.147

Disc Size: 35,698,755,621 bytes

Feature Size: 30,131,733,312 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.93 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 17th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit






• Commentary by Pete Walker and Jonathan Rigby

• An Eye For Terror (Part2 of an interview with Pete Walker) (11:00)

• Pete Walker Trailers




Description: Acidic black comedy, or typically crass 70s horror flick brought out with the sole aim of shocking a jaded public? The jury's still out on House Of Mortal Sin (aka The Confessional), but you can't deny that it's entertaining.

Excerpt from British Horror Films located HERE



The Film:

The macabre tale of a priest who records his parishioners' confessions and uses the tapes to blackmail his victims. Those unable or unwilling to meet his demands soon discover they must pay the ultimate price. After several parishioners turn up dead, a housekeeper begins to have her suspicions about him.

Excerpt from ShriekShow DVD located HERE

Director Walker claims that some of his films were "a deliberate attempt to try and get some controversy." Such was clearly the case with this one, which uses the premise of a deranged, degenerate priest as a platform to point a finger at the hypocrisies and secretive nature of the Catholic church.

Excerpt from The Bloody Pit of Horror located HERE

Jenny, (Susan Penhaligon) a troubled young girl, seeks help at her local church. Unfortunately for her, the sexually frustrated priest Father Meldrum (Anthony Sharp) she confesses to, becomes obsessed with her. He begins to stalk her, however as his increasingly unhinged mindset continues to unravel, it becomes obvious he will stop at nothing, including blackmail and murder, just to get close to Jenny.

Excerpt from Watching Horror Films from Behind the Couch located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Primo Pete Walker - House of Mortal Sin - has made it to Blu-ray from Kino's Redemption label.  The image seems a little loose in the opening credits but soon settles in to, what we have come to expect from this production company - as a strong, consistent presentation. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and any imperfections will directly relate to the source and not the 1080P transfer. Colors (blood!) are deep and tight and the image's inherent softness is reflective of a film-like appearance. This 1.66:1 AR doesn't show much depth but contrast seems reasonable and there is impressive detail in close-ups. This Blu-ray is no demo but appears to do its job effectively in replicating the film's more positive visual attributes.












Audio :

The linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps does a competent job of exporting the film's sound requirements - which include some aggression. There is a bit of weakness in the high end but I can only anticipate that this is a function of the, almost, 40-year old production's audio limitations. The score is atmospheric by Stanley Myers - who, besides doing a coupe of other Pete Walker films - composed for Cimino's The Deer Hunter and Nicolas Roeg's amusing Insignificance. The audio is probably as good as it will get via the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Value is added with a commentary by Pete Walker and Jonathan Rigby (author of Studies in Terror: Landmarks of Horror Cinema) as more of the film's production and subversive tones are revealed. We also get part two of the An Eye For Terror interview with the director - sunning about 11-minutes. There are also the obligatory 5 Pete Walker trailers.



The more I indulge in Pete Walker films, the more I am impressed. His undercurrent of disdain and criticism is at its most acerbic in House of Mortal Sin where the target of his attack is religion - more pointedly 'Catholicism'. Protagonist Susan Penhaligon sure reminds me of the consummate Brit-Comley-Blonde, pouty, Susan George. House of Mortal Sin has it all - social commentary, horror, gore and a little sex-appeal. I was, again, pleased with the Redemption Blu-ray. I'd kinda like to see this again, for the first time. This presentation was solid and we can recommend as one of the superior efforts from this enigmatic and multi-layered director. 

Gary Tooze

May 22nd, 2014


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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