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 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, a carnival horrors man, shows five people a "special" entertainment in a private showing. Each person looks carefully at the scissors held by a mannequin of one of the Greek fates and soon sees a fate that may or may not come to pass. These visions serve as the basis of the movie as we are entertained to four story adaptations of Robert Bloch stories. The first man sees a story about greed and a witch's familiar. The second story deals with android-like beings in Hollywood, the third story with a malicious piano. The last story is based on Bloch's story "The Man Who Collected Poe" and is about one man's obsession with the master of the macabre. All four stories are brought to screen with care and style, thanks in part to the workman-like direction of Francis. Burgess Meredith is exceptionally good as the devious Dr. Diablo in the frame story. The last story is the best and is highlighted by fine performances by both Peter Cushing and Jack Palance. Look for Michael Ripper in the frame story as well.
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