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 »
A writer of horror stories is invited to a "monster club" by a mysterious old gentleman. There, three gruesome stories are told to him; between each story some musicians play their songs. ... See full summary »
Roy Ward Baker
A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
Five strangers board a train and are joined by a mysterious fortune teller who offers to read their Tarot cards. Five separate stories unfold: An architect returns to his ancestoral home to... See full summary »
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 »
A Scotland Yard investigator looks into four mysterious cases involving an unoccupied house: 1) A writer encounters a strangler of his own creation, 2) Two men are obsessed with a wax ... See full summary »
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.
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
Amicus is legendary for producing a variety of Horror omnibuses in the 60s and 70s, such as "Dr. Terror's House of Horror" (1965), "The House That Dripped Blood" (1970), "Asylum" (1972), "From Beyond The Grave" (1973) or "The Vault of Horror" (1973). After "Dr Terror's House of Horrors", "Torture Garden" of 1967 was the second Horror anthology produced by Amicus, but, besides the very lame "Monster Club" (1980) which was barely saved by the great Vincent Price, it is also the least recommendable one. This is not to say that "Torture Garden" is a bad film though - on the contrary, it is vastly entertaining if one is looking for cheesy spooky fun, it just isn't scary, and I would recommend all the other Amicus anthologies I've seen (except for "Monster Club") over this one.
"Torture Garden" begins in an amusement park, where Dr. Diablo (Burgess Meredith) performs a macabre show. After seeing such spectacles as wax puppets executed on the electric chair, the visitors of Dr. Diablo's show (one of them played by Jack Palance!) are invited to experience 'real' terror - a foresight in their possible futures... Overall, the film has a nice atmosphere, but too little suspense. The first three stories are pretty forgettable, especially the second is extremely silly and not even remotely scary. It is merely the fourth story, Jack Palance's segment which also stars icon Peter Cushing, which saves the film.
The first story takes place in an old mansion, where a man who is keen on his uncle's wealth encounters a sinister cat. The story is completely unoriginal, but at least it is macabre and has some atmosphere. The second story, which revolves around a girl who wants to become famous in the film business, and the third story, which is about an 'eerie' piano, are really, REALLY silly, even though I won't deny that the third one has some atmosphere too.
It is merely the very moody, creepy and macabre fourth tale which makes this film worth watching. The last and best segment should be interesting to all Horror fans as it is a great little tale about the writings of the almighty Edgar Allen Poe, starring Jack Palance, and the great Peter Cushing, both of whom play fanatic Poe-collectors...
The last segment is creepy and great and would easily deserve a rating of 8 out of 10, but, overall, one good segment does not quite make up for three cheesy and amusing, but mediocre ones. "Torture Garden" is entertaining enough for fans of Horror omnibuses, but I'd recommend most other Amicus anthologies (especially the excellent "House That Dripped Blood") over this one. Positive points are a nice atmosphere and look, but overall "Torture Garden" is just OK.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?