Only The Stones Remain

Before I was laid low with fever and dreams, I watched a couple of folk horror classics that I had often heard about but never watched. Being well-versed in 70s American television horror I remain sadly deficient in the British counterpart, though I have made great strides since the whole folk horror boom arose (mostly because things are out there and available if not always through proper channels, which lag on serving audiences who don’t want mainstream, royalist swill).


I seem to always add a final S to the title, I don’t know why. This Nigel Kneale-scripted story has long been admired and it’s an intriguing concept — one that most animists will roll their eyes over and say ‘Duh!’ The concept that stones have a life and a memory is not some fringe concept of newagers however; I would point you to Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman for more on the subject:

Although geological time can leave us reeling, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues that stone’s endurance is also an invitation to apprehend the world in other than human terms. Never truly inert, stone poses a profound challenge to modernity’s disenchantments. Its agency undermines the human desire to be separate from the environment, a bifurcation that renders nature “out there,” a mere resource for recreation, consumption, and exploitation.

While I expected truly bad seventies fashion and truly bad 70s sexism — Jane Asher is The Woman! because all computer programmers were women because it involved typing and men could not be seen typing! Unless it was with two fingers and a half-empty bottle of scotch and they were Hemingwayesque or a newspaper man mashing the keys. However I wasn’t prepared for the wall-to-wall racism as the team laddishly worked to ‘beat the [Japanese]’ who were in their post WWII tech boom.

The concept of the haunting is fascinating, Jane Asher makes you believe and the ghost effects and electronics are fun.

STONES (1976)

This one was a bit more fun if a little anaemic in execution. A scholar who doesn’t live up to his potential because of an obsession with Stonehenge and his somewhat waspish wife (Judy Parfitt completely wasted in the role but making the most of it anyway) brace for the sudden reappearance of an old rival — who’s now in the government and planning to move the stones to London (a true though much earlier plan in the history of outrages to the site). When his daughter accidentally uncovers strange letters in the spine of his historic book, the scholar is off on a hunt (involving a vintage book shop that features a deaf character) while his daughter (and some other children) seem to be captivated by something from afar. Slight and more intriguing than successful but enjoyable nonetheless.

I need to watch Children of the Stones (1977) to complete the trifecta, but anon.

The Soft Boys paean to Stonehenge and all rocks