Release dateNovember 1970 Based onI Start Counting
by Audrey Erskine Lindop WriterRichard Harris (screenplay), Audrey Erskine-Lindop (from the novel by)
TaglineIn the world of the nightmare, a little blood adds colour!
I Start Counting is a British thriller film released in 1970, directed by David Greene and starring Jenny Agutter in one of her first major roles. It was based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Audrey Erskine Lindop.
The film was moderately controversial because of Agutter's squeaky-clean image, her youth (16, playing a 14-year-old), and the film's sexual content. It also included Simon Ward's first major film role.
Wynne (Agutter), an adopted 14-year-old girl, has a crush on her 32-year-old stepbrother, George (Bryan Marshall). While spying on George in the bathroom, Wynne notices he has several scratches on his back, and finds a bloody jumper she made for him that he threw in the rubbish, which leads her to suspect him of being the serial killer of several local teenage girls, and who is still at large. Despite this belief, Wynne continues to have romantic sexual fantasies about George, and dreams of marrying him when she comes of legal age.
Wynne hides in George's minibus, thinking she will catch him in the act of murdering a young girl, but instead she discovers he is having an affair with a suicidal older woman (Lana Morris), whose blood was on the discarded jumper after slashing her wrist in a suicide attempt.
Wynne's best friend Corinne (Clare Sutcliffe) teases her about her crush on George, and when the family goes out on a picnic Corrinne even flirts with him; he gets angry at her for acting like a "pathetic little mini-tart," and pins her down roughly on the ground. Corrinne runs away from the picnic, and later telephones Wynne to tell her she's staying out all night with a boy she met, who turns out to be the actual serial killer, a bus conductor (Simon Ward). Wynne gets worried about her friend, goes searching for her, and finds Corrinne's dead body. When the bus conductor sees Wynne, he intends to make her his next victim, but the police arrive on the scene in time.
The theme song, also entitled "I Start Counting", was sung by Lindsey Moore.