Saturday, January 21, 2012

Torture Garden (1967)

Dare ye enter THE TORTURE GARDEN? Five thrill seekers are coaxed into entering the suspicious carnival attraction, where their fates are foretold by a supernatural statue of the Greek goddess Atropos. The first sorry sap will be granted a fortune in gold coins if he only obeys the demands of a witch's familiar, which takes the form of a small cat. An ambitious young starlet will do whatever it takes to see her name immortalized on screen. Poor Dorothy falls prey to a possessed piano in the next. An Edgar Allan Poe fanatic lets his jealousy and covetous desire get the best of him when he visits a rival's admirable collection in the fourth. The last man, however, resists looking into the eyes of fate, fearful of what he might find. Burgess Meredith greatly entertains as the attraction's eccentric owner, in a performance that is gleefully over-the-top. As is often the case with omnibus pictures, the stories are a bit uneven, with the first and last proving to be the most enjoyable (even with Jack Palance's oddly excitable performance in 'The Man Who Collected Poe'). Freddie Francis directs the small picture with gusto, and leaves us with a fun diversion in the end despite the film's many flaws. Amicus would reach the pinnacle of their success with their next anthology, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, from 1970.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like TORTURE GARDEN:
TALES OF TERROR, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, VAULT OF HORROR.

2 comments:

  1. With Burgess Meridith as the "Host" (i.e. the Devil)... great anthology film....

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  2. He most certainly is delightfully wicked in this one!

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