Pete Walker (director)

Pete Walker
Born (1939-07-04) 4 July 1939
Brighton, Sussex, England, U.K.
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter

Pete Walker (born 4 July 1939) is an English film director, writer and producer, specialising in horror and sexploitation films, frequently combining the two.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]


Born in Brighton, Walker made films such as Die Screaming, Marianne, The Flesh and Blood Show, House of Whipcord, Frightmare, House of Mortal Sin, Schizo, The Comeback, and House of the Long Shadows.

His films often featured sadistic authority figures, such as priests or judges, punishing anyone — usually young women — who doesn't conform to their strict personal moral codes, but he has denied there being any political subtext to his films. Because of the speed with which he had to make his films, Walker often used the same reliable actors, including Andrew Sachs and Sheila Keith, the latter playing memorable villainesses in four of Walker's pictures.

Malcolm McLaren hired Walker to direct a documentary on The Sex Pistols entitled A Star Is Dead. Walker was an unlikely choice of director for this project and the deal fell through when the band split up.

Walker's work was reviled and condemned by some contemporary critics, while others were surprised to find relatively sophisticated subtexts in what were made and marketed as commercial exploitation films. Although Walker's movies have never undergone a critical reappraisal in the same way as Hammer films or his American contemporaries Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven, the release in 2005 of a DVD boxed set of five of his films was greeted with some good notices in the British national press.

On his own work, Walker has said when asked if his films had hidden depths, "Of course they didn't. But recently I had to record commentary for the DVD releases, so I saw the films for the first time since making them, and you know what? They're not as bad as I thought. But searching for hidden meaning ... they were just films. All I wanted to do was create a bit of mischief."[8]


See also

Further reading

Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (fourth edition) (Titan Publishing, London) (2011)


  1. New York Times
  2. Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (Reynolds & Hearn Books) (third edition) (2007)
  3. X-Rated - Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker by Simon Sheridan (Reynolds & Hearn Books) (2008)
  4. Shepperton Babylon: The Lost Worlds of British Cinema by Matthew Sweet (Faber & Faber, 2005)
  5. The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror ed. Phil Hardy (Aurum Press, 1985, 1995)
  6. Making Mischief: The Cult Films of Pete Walker by Steve Chibnall (FAB Press, 1998)
  7. English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby (Reynolds & Hearn, 2000)
  8. Guardian

External links

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