'It was like some crazy suspense thriller' Armstrong now remembers, 'I finished the final page of the script around five, grabbed a cab to Morton's where Pete was waiting for me, before catching his flight to LA. I go there, literally minutes before he had to leave to get to the airport. I'd been working around the clock, on whiskey and cigarettes, had no sleep for two nights, staggered into Morton's more dead than alive, thrust the pages of typed manuscipt into his hands- the only copy that existed- Pete asked me if I wanted a drink, I told him I just wanted to go home and collapse, he said he'd call me then called a cab- and that was it. He read the script on the plane and called me to say he liked it. A week later he called me to say that the script had gone down well with the actors and that they had all agreed to do it - except Lanchester, who unfortunately was too fragile to travel.
The part that Armstrong had written for her was that of a woman forever haunted by her past as a jilted bride. The role, instead, went to a Pete Walker favourite, Shelia Keith, who produced a wonderfully comic performance.
'Pete and I intended that one of the fun levels of the film to be it's density of movie literary allusions, sometimes double edged, like Vinnies death: on one hand echoing his demise in Witchfinder General, whilst, on the other, being a parody of Mickey Mouse chopping up the broomsticks in 'Fantasia'. Armstrong explains, 'Unfortunatly, quite a few filmic references for film buffs got lost along the way. There were also some that weren't followed through. For instance, the juve leads were written as a kind of Dick Powell and Fay Wray exchanging those sparring quick banter dialogues of the period. The young married couple were written as a parody of their British counterparts, epitomised by Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence in 'Private Lives'. But, these with other references got lost, partly because of the subtle campery required in the playing didn't really suit the actors cast the those roles.
For once, Armstrong was not around for the casting. Jenny Craven, the associate producer, was elevated into overseeing the film from the moment it went into pre production. 'Everything happened so quickly.' Armstrong recalls, 'Pete Walker had barely arrived back from LA before the film was in pre-production with a shooting date only a few weeks away. To my concern, what I'd dashed off in those two weeks was the script they were working from. Admittedly my first drafts are usually as tight as most people's final drafts but, even so, I still desperately wanted, at the very least, to sit down and clean it up and tidy it- especially around the final confrontation scene between the Grisbane brothers- but it proved impossible. Pete had been swept up into the throes of production with Jenny Craven, which meant that he and I couldn't find a free moment to get together and talk., even. Whenever I tried to say anything, everyone seemed perfectly happy with the script as it was, then I finally gave up pressing the point and assumed it was just me being insecure and finicky and that they'd come back to me if something wasn't working'