Lonely Water (aka The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water) – British 1973 Water Safety Ad


Lonely Water is perhaps the best known and almost forgets itself in the hurry to warn children against playing in public waterways and turns into one of the classics of 1970’s British horror. Lonely Water was produced by Illustra Films and directed by Jeff Grant, having been commissioned by the COI as a result of official concern over the high number of child fatalities in drowning accidents in the UK. Lonely Water was filmed over two days a few miles north of London. Over a dream-like, mist filled 90 seconds on watery wasteland, a grim reaper voiced by the horror legend Donald Pleasence, warns children of the dangers of the murky depths. The Bergman-esque cowled Death ominously stalks the children (“I am the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water, ready to trap the unwary, the show-off, the fool, and this is the kind of place you’d expect to find me”). Like many of the PIF’s of this period, the silence is often deafening and lends true reality to the rather Grimm’s fairytale set-up. Donald is rumbled, Dracula-like by clever youngsters (“Sensible children! I have no power over them!”) though the threat is a real one and morphs into a sinister promise ((“I’ll be back-back-back…!”)

See horrorpedia.com

“Only a fool would ignore this. But there is one born every minute”

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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