A special sideshow torture exhibit has the power, according to showman Dr. Diablo, to warn people of evil in their futures. As skeptical customers are shown the greed and violence they're ... See full summary »
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Roy Ward Baker
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England 1795: the young Catherine just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes victim of an old curse that lays on the family. On her wedding night she's raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.
3 horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the 1st story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of three elderly friends. In "... See full summary »
Wilbur Gray, a horror writer, has stumbled upon a terrible secret, that cats are supernatural creatures who really call the shots. In a desperate attempt to get others to believe him, Wilbur spews three tales of feline horror.
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A special sideshow torture exhibit has the power, according to showman Dr. Diablo, to warn people of evil in their futures. As skeptical customers are shown the greed and violence they're hiding, one of them snaps and kills Diablo. When they run off, we see the murder to be staged as part of the show. One of the customers has hung around to see this, and wants to make a deal with Diablo, aka the Devil. Written by
Dr. Diablo (Burgess Meredith) runs a circus carnival sideshow called Torture Garden. In there he offers to tell four people their futures which we then see played out. Story 1 has a man (Michael Bryant) letting his uncle die to search for the money he thinks the old man has hidden. Instead he finds a lethal cat. Story 2 has starlet Carla Hayes (Beverly Adams) discovering why stars stay looking so young. Story 3 has a woman fall in love with a world famous pianist--until his piano gets jealous (don't ask). Story 4 has Jack Palance playing an Edgar Allan Poe fanatic who plans to rob a Poe collector (Peter Cushing) but finds more than he bargained for.
OK--story 1 and 4 are easily the best. Story 2 is pretty stupid and story 3 is just ridiculous--the good acting keeps it from completely falling apart. The acting, with the sole exception of Adams, is very good--Bryant is excellent and Meredith and Palance chew the scenery. Adams is a very beautiful woman--but no actress. Also, for some reason, story 1 has an excellent music score which is completely missing from the rest of the film. There's very little blood or violence here and the "twist" ending comes as no surprise. A real mixed bag here--this isn't as good as "The House That Dripped Blood" or "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors" but worth a look for horror fans. Robert Bloch wrote all four stories too.
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