Film ID:
YFA 5687

THE TERROSS HAPPENING

1968

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Description

This is one of several films made over a seven year period by Bill Davison of Selby Cine Club. This chilling film, loosely based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story ‘The Premature Burial,’ got into Movie Maker's 1968 'Top Ten' competition for all film formats.  A man involved in a car crash seems to have catalepsy and is mistakenly thought to be dead, and, despite the protestations of his helpless inner monologue, is buried alive.  The story is accompanied by a dramatic musical soundtrack.

The opening credits are accompanied by animated hands going up a wall.

Titles:
W D Presents: The Terross Happening
With Sylvia Heywood, J Wright, A Cook, P Jackson, R Macdonald.
Members of Selby Cine Club, St John’s Brigade.
And, John Safford as Brian Harker.
Based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
Directed by W Davison

The film opens with the outside of an industrial complex, with lots of pipes, possibly a power station.  The inside of a large control room with lots of instrument panels is shown.  A man crosses a factory floor and leaves a modern looking building.  He gets into his car and drives off down a country road as the sun is setting.  The car mysteriously crashes, leaving the man paralysed, unable to move at all or speak, but with his eyes wide open.  He passes out and wakes in the morning wondering why no-one has come his way, when two boys on bicycles arrive and then cycle off to get help.  He is next seen in an ambulance, having passed out again.  He is taken to a room and laid out, with blocks holding his head up.

In his inner monologue, the man wonders why no one is seeing to him, but he hears the ambient background noise of people talking and someone whistling.  Then a man arrives who starts to undress him, and he thinks that it must be a male nurse, until he covers him with a sheet.  At that point, the man screams in his head, “I’m alive!”  A second man arrives and stuffs cotton wool into his mouth and places the sheet back over him as he inwardly screams, “Examine me!”  Again the man blacks-out, and then awakens to find he is staring at the ceiling in a coffin at an undertaker’s.  As he listens to the workers at the undertakers having a chitchat, his wife Sylvia arrives, and he thinks that she will recognise that he is still alive.  But alas she doesn’t, and he tells himself to, “Keep calm.”  The coffin lid is put on and screwed down.

He next awakes to find himself at his funeral service in a church, listening to the Anglican order for the burial of the dead being read by the vicar.  His coffin is carried out into the graveyard where again we hear the next part of the order for the burial of the dead being read by the vicar.  He screams out in his mind, “I must get out.”  As he is lowered down, he begins to get some movement in his hand.  The man desperately tries to get his hand strength back as earth is thrown on top of the coffin.  All those in attendance leave except Sylvia, who also turns to go.  As he struggles to be heard the gravediggers shovel earth on top of the coffin, and they walk off, as he inwardly screams, “I’m alive!”