Torture Garden (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Torture Garden
Torturegardenposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Freddie Francis
Produced by Max Rosenberg
Milton Subotsky
Written by Robert Bloch
Based on short stories by Bloch, "Enoch", "The Man Who Collected Poe", "Terror Over Hollywood", "Mr Steinway"
Starring Jack Palance
Burgess Meredith
Beverly Adams
Peter Cushing
Music by Don Banks
James Bernard
Cinematography Norman Warwick
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Torture Garden is a 1967 British horror film made by Amicus Productions. It was directed by Freddie Francis and scripted by Robert Bloch. It stars Burgess Meredith, Jack Palance, Michael Ripper, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing, Maurice Denham, Ursula Howells, Michael Bryant and Barbara Ewing. The score was a collaboration between Hammer horror regulars James Bernard and Don Banks.

It is one of producer Milton Subotsky's trademark "portmanteau" films, an omnibus of short stories linked by a single narrative.

Plot[edit]

Five people visit a fairground sideshow run by showman Dr. Diabolo (Meredith). Having shown them a handful of haunted-house-style attractions, he promises them a genuinely scary experience if they will pay extra. Their curiosity gets the better of them, and the small crowd follows him behind a curtain, where they each view their fate through the shears of an effigy of the female deity Atropos (Clytie Jessop).

  • In Enoch, a greedy playboy (Bryant) takes advantage of his dying uncle (Denham), and falls under the spell of a man-eating cat.
  • In Terror Over Hollywood, a Hollywood starlet (Adams) discovers her co-stars are androids.
  • In Mr. Steinway, a possessed grand piano by the name of Euterpe becomes jealous of its owner's new lover (Ewing) and takes revenge.
  • In The Man Who Collected Poe, a Poe collector (Palance) murders another collector (Cushing) over a collectable he refuses to show him, only to find it is Edgar Allan Poe himself.

In an epilogue, the fifth patron goes berserk and uses the shears of Atropos to kill Dr. Diabolo in front of the others causing them to panic and flee. It is then shown that he is working for Diablo and the whole thing was faked. As they congratulate each other for their acting, Palance's character also commends their performance, revealing he had not run off like the others. He shares a brief exchange with Diabolo and lights a cigarette for him, then leaves. Diabolo puts the shears back into the hand of Atropos and breaks the fourth wall by addressing the audience, revealing himself to actually be the devil as the movie ends.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was meant to star Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee but Columbia, who were providing the budget, wanted two American names, leading to Palance and Meredith's casting.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie's review of the film was mixed, writing, "Torture Garden lacks the strength and inventiveness to qualify as a top-tier horror anthology but it offers enough spooky thrills to qualify as a Saturday afternoon diversion."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ed. Allan Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing, 2000 p 50-55
  2. ^ Donald Guarisco. "Torture Garden (1967)". Allmovie. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 

External links[edit]