End Play is an attractively mounted thriller from director Tim Burstall, cleverly adapting an English novel by Russell Braddon to Australia. It features compelling performances from an enigmatic John Waters and a strident, wheelchair-bound George Mallaby.They play brothers, Mark and Robert Gifford, one of whom has a penchant for slaying young female hitchhikers (including Delvene Delaney in the creepy opening sequence), and the other who may or may not suspect and be covering for him, but is in danger nonetheless.
Although there are only two suspects, Burstall does a creditable job in keeping you off course from the early stages. Plot conveniences do begin to pile up towards the end, mainly to propel the police’s investigations, but Burstall maintains the suspenseful mood. Robin Copping’s cinematography and Bill Hutchinson’s production design are particularly handsome and Peter Best contributes one of his better scores.It’s an intriguing and enjoyable thriller, despite difficulties with the plot.