A cycling holiday in France for two young pretty British nurses turns into a nightmare when brunette Jane (Pamela Franklin) and blonde Cathy (Michele Dotrice) unknowingly travel down the wrong road. The two girls argue about resting or continuing on and go their separate ways.
When Jane goes back to look for Cathy, she finds only a wrecked bicycle – and Cathy’s underwear – scattered in the woods and enlists the help of a suspicious-looking character named Paul (Sandor Eles) who claims to be a detective but is actually a self-proclaimed amateur sleuth hailing from Paris.
Having a difficult time with the language (and trying to decipher who her friends are), Jane learns from a visiting English schoolmistress (Clare Kelly) and the non-English-speaking locals that the site where Cathy vanished is the same place where another girl was found murdered a few years earlier, having been the victim of a violent sexual assault. And Paul just happened to be in the area at that time also.
Fearing that her missing friend has been abducted or murdered, Jane confides in the local gendarme (John Nettleton) who lives with his elderly deaf father (John Franklyn).
One would have thought that writers Brian Clemens – who made his name on series such as Danger Man and The Avengers – and Terry Nation – the doyen of Doctor Who scripters – would have come up with something more memorable than this nasty chiller.
The voyeuristic approach to both the killer’s crimes and the peril in which Jane and Cathy find themselves as they cycle through a French wood is most regrettable, not to say, at times, downright objectionable.
Director Robert Fuest ensures that it’s also an uncomfortable watch from the suspense point of view, but it’s not a film one can view with much pleasure.