Torture Garden (film)

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Torture Garden
Torturegardenposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFreddie Francis
Produced byMax Rosenberg
Milton Subotsky
Written byRobert Bloch
Based onshort stories by Bloch, "Enoch", "The Man Who Collected Poe", "Terror Over Hollywood", "Mr Steinway"
StarringJack Palance
Burgess Meredith
Beverly Adams
Peter Cushing
Music byDon Banks
James Bernard
CinematographyNorman Warwick
Production
company
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
November 10, 1967 (UK)
September 6, 1968 (US)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Torture Garden is a 1967 British horror film directed by Freddie Francis, scripted by Robert Bloch, and starring 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.

Made by Amicus Productions, 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 (Burgess 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 an epilogue, the fifth patron (Michael Ripper) 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 Diabolo, 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; however, Columbia, which was providing the budget, wanted two American names, and this led 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]