Candlelit Suppers and Sexual Depravity

In this initially charming scene, Frank and Susan are enjoying a candlelit supper and exchanging words of endearment. After a few minutes, Frank swigs the last of his wine, puts down his glass, and tells Susan to get undressed. She does so instantly, and what follows is a pretty standard piece of 1970s “explicit” sex.

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However, as the couple writhe in ecstasy, the film cuts back and forth between their flickeringly illuminated bodies and another, much more disturbing scene. It is a pagan ritual with naked maidens and a sinister “high priest” who bears a striking resemblance to Simon Magus of The Unseen.

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(It is NOT Magus. Septic has urged me to make this abundantly clear. He only looks like Magus.)

The music was recorded on a Mellotron Mk II, and devotees of King Crimson, The Moody Blues, and Yes will enjoy these classic tones. It is my belief that Magus played the flute section while Legg provided the rich strings and choir sounds.

It is difficult to comprehend nowadays, but the early 1970s was a time of serious speculation as far as witchcraft and the occult were concerned.  The documentary featured below, for example, was made in 1971, and was presented by Michael “Cakes” Bakewell, of whom very little was heard afterwards. “Cakes” was a college friend of Simon Grundig, and the strange, often troubling nature of their friendship, will be explored in a later entry.

Authentic Rural Dream Sequence by Septic Boaby

It would appear that Hamlyn’s memory of The GoatMan is nowhere near as accurate as he would have us believe. I would also like to make it clear that my copy of “Rural Dream Sequence”, which I transferred DIRECTLY from the album, is hugely different from the one posted yesterday.

I don’t know if Hamlyn sped it up himself in an attempt to make it sound like something from Spike Milligan’s “Q”, or if he is genuinely in possession of an alternative take. All I know is that he needs his arse kicked for posting it without consulting me. (Incidentally, all pictures included in this post are of BBC and ITV executives, and their wives, during the early 70s.)

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I remember this creepy scene from the movie most vividly of all. There are several dreamy sequences in The Goatman, but this one horrified me as a child. It involves SUSAN and not FRANK, as Hamlyn claims.

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Susan is wandering through a meadow, and she hears a young girl singing; the sound is strange, reversed, the feeling becoming weird and dreamy, hallucinogenic.

She sees the little girl sitting in the long grass, and as she approaches her, the girl turns around. But it is actually a really small old lady with coal-black eyes and great big long bony fingers. She reaches out to grab Susan, who runs away. The sequence is filmed in grainy, old-school slow motion, and the sound of a heartbeat only adds to the creeping terror.

The thing is gaining on her, grabbing at her, and tearing at her clothes. Susan makes it into the woods and just as she thinks she might be safe, she becomes aware of being surrounded by malevolent entities, whispering all around her. She awakens screaming…

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The music in this scene was a synthesizer melody on a reversed tape loop, fed through a tape echo with sound effects added in post production. The scene was missing from the TV play. At first, this was thought to be due to budget restrictions, but after much browsing on TV forums and “unexplained” websites, it seems there were practitioners of the Dark Arts working within Television Centre. These practitioners knew of the script and its negative portrayal of the occult.

After “disappearing” from the script, the scene was added again to the movie, word for word, from memory, by the writer.

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Magus and Legg were well aware of the satanic elements in the media. As a matter of fact, they met with these people several times at numerous psychedelic “happenings” and tv pop shows in the late 60s. Almost everyone who worked at Television Centre knew about the dark goings on in and around the BBC, but no one was brave enough to talk about it.

Indeed it was so horrific, I am unable to tell you what it was.

But it was necrophilia.

Rural Dream Sequence

Out for a twilight stroll in the meadow, Frank is drawn to a shadowy glade in which a strange young girl stands, uttering odd syllables. She seems to be beckoning him, but Frank, whilst unafraid, understands that to approach would be dangerous.

Behind the girl, the shadows seem to be coalescing into a human shape, the head of which is oddly bestial. His fear rising, Frank turns to walk away, slips, falls, and cuts the heel of his hand on a sharp rock. Now terrified, he springs to his feet and runs. Aware that the terrible bestial entity is closing in from behind, he screams in panic.

And wakes up, sweating, next to a terrified Susan. Sweet relief floods his body.

But his hand!

The heel of it is cut and bleeding.

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In all probability, Simon Magus (pictured above) worked on this piece of music alone. It features the VCS3 synthesizer (pictured below), and Magus was notoriously possessive with the instrument.

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It also sounds very much as though the piece was recorded at Advision Studios, utilizing a very narrow stereo spectrum. Legg favoured a wider stereo image, and if Donny “Boy” Whittleford (of whom more later) is to believed, the two men actually came to blows over the issue.

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It was also at Advision Studios that Magus began to offer drugs to Simon Grundig, the film’s director. Grundig was a delicate man, of a weak constitution, and it is almost certain that Magus was responsible for his descent into opium addiction and sexual depravity. Of course, the degree to which Grundig was responsible for the finished film remains a point of fierce debate.

Tracey Katz contends that, very early in the process, Grundig turned the camera equipment over to the two main actors, and told them to “freak themselves out”. This, Katz claims, would make The GoatMan the first genuine example of the “found footage” movie.

Shadows at Hunter’s Lodge

 

Frank and Susan drink some wine, play a game of cards, and retire to bed. Frank falls asleep at once, but Susan remains awake, troubled by ghostly shadows at the window. The shape seems to be part human, part beast …

Septic claims that The Unseen hired a tympanist for this sequence, but I contend that Harold Legg was the percussionist.

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Legg (pictured above) disappeared without trace in 1976, although he is widely believed to be a currently active member of the so-called Penumbra Cult.

Footsteps Outside the Cottage

The young couple, Frank and Susan, newly arrived in the Somerset village of Thrussock, relax after dinner. The camera, however, describes a point-of-view shot from the perspective of a nameless intruder who walks around the cottage, peering into windows.

Great work here from The Unseen, whose simple synth tones and LFO modulations are so typical of the era. I remember this scene with at least as much clarity as Septic, who claims that it was shot using a crude “day for night” filter. I cannot agree. My memory is that Grundig took full advantage of the smudgy dusk, making great use of available light.

Eerie Meadow (Opening Credits)

Recorded by The Unseen, a duo consisting of Simon Magus (electronics), and Harold Legg (electronics), the music unfolded over a shot of a misty, eerie meadow. I recall quite vividly the particularly saturated quality of the Eastman Colour film stock.