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Brimstone and Treacle (1987)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Martin picks out at random a man in the street and tries to strike up a conversation, pretending that they have met before. The man walks away and Martin decides to try again with Tom Bates. Unwilling to appear rude or forgetful, Bates pretends that he remembers him. Martin says he is a university friend of Bates' daughter Pattie. Bates tells him that she is now incapacitated at home following a hit and run accident two years earlier. Martin tells Bates that he had asked Pattie to be his wife but that he had gone to America when she turned him down. Martin appears to be overcome by the news of Pattie and Bates promises to give him a lift in his car. Bates leaves and doesn't return, but Martin has his wallet and follows him home.

Bates and his wife Amy argue when she says that Pattie can sense their emotions. She tells him how hard she finds spending all her time looking after their daughter. Martin arrives and gives Bates his wallet back. When he sees Pattie in her stretcher in the living room he says a prayer for her. Martin tells Amy that he still loves their daughter and would like nothing better than the opportunity to look after Pattie in her hour of need. Despite Bates' objections, Amy insists that Martin stay the night in Pattie's old bedroom. Martin goes through her belongings and has diabolic fantasies.

The next morning Martin convinces Amy that he can look after Pattie while she goes to get her hair done. After she leaves, Martin rapes Pattie. When Amy returns she claims to notice something different in Pattie, who is now much quieter than normal. Martin cooks a meal for the family and gets into a conversation with Bates about the need to send foreigners away from England. Bates initially agrees with him until Martin talks of putting them all into concentration camps. Martin offers to become a full-time carer and servant for the family.

That night Martin attacks Pattie again, but stops when she starts to scream. Martin flees from the house. Pattie asks her father what has happened, remembering that she saw him and her best friend in bed together shortly before running out into the road and being hit by the car. Martin walks up to a stranger and pretends to know him.