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In the Devil's Garden (1971)

Assault (original title)
After one schoolgirl is raped while taking a short cut through the local woods, and another is murdered in the same woods a few days later, the local police are baffled. With the help of a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie West
Det. Chief Supt. Velyan
Greg Lomax
Tessa Hurst
Tony Beckley ...
Leslie Sanford
Mr. Bartell
Dilys Hamlett ...
Mrs. Sanford
Det. Sgt. Beale
Patrick Jordan ...
Sgt. Milton
Anabel Littledale ...
Susan Miller
Tom Chatto ...
Police Doctor
Kit Taylor ...
Jan Butlin ...
Day Receptionist


After one schoolgirl is raped while taking a short cut through the local woods, and another is murdered in the same woods a few days later, the local police are baffled. With the help of a reporter from one of the local papers, and against the wishes of a psychologist at the local hospital, a young teacher at the school the girls attended uses herself as bait to lure the perpetrator out. Could it be the creepy husband of the head mistress at the school, the psychologist who seems to be taking an unusual interest in the case, or something altogether more sinister? Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Demented! Diabolical! Deadly! See more »


Mystery | Crime | Drama | Horror


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Devil's Garden  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's original title was changed for U.S. release to In the Devil's Garden due to the main character saying that the killer in the film looked like the Devil, and also because the Devil was again becoming a popular subject matter in films after the success of The Exorcist (1973). The film, under the "Devil's Garden" title, is best known for being released along with La plus longue nuit du diable (1971) under the title "The Devil's Nightmare" as a "Devil Double Feature".

The T.V. syndicated title, Tower of Terror, refers to an electrical tower under which the rapes and murders of some of the schoolgirls take place, and was also the setting where the climax of the film takes place. See more »


When Susan (a light haired girl) is being killed and "her" shirt is being ripped off, you can clearly see it's the same bra that Tessa was wearing when she was being raped. The girl that was being killed in that scene was a dark haired girl, making it clear that the same scene was used when Susan was killed and Tessa was raped. See more »

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User Reviews

British 'Giallo-Lite'
6 September 2007 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

During the 60's and 70's – when Hammer Studios ruled the industry – the vast majority of genre movies that got released in the United Kingdom were either Gothic tales (practically all Hammer films), horror omnibuses (Amicus) or provocative exploitation films (courtesy of Pete Walker & Norman J. Warren). At the same time in Italy, a very different sub genre of horror was extremely popular and overflowing the market; namely the Giallo. This is basically a whodunit type of thriller, interlarded with sleaze, graphic violence and bizarre plot twists. Usually each country stuck to its own specialties, but "Assault" is one of the truly few films crossing the countries' borders of styles. What we have here is a British Giallo, containing all the rudimentary ingredients that define the genre: luscious under aged school girls, rape & strangulation, perverted elderly suspects and a grotesque climax. A vicious rapist dwells the forestry area surrounding an all-girls school building. With one girl dead and another one traumatized for life, the school courageous art teacher Julie (Suzy Kendall) volunteers to act as bait in order for the police to unmask the culprit. There are quite a number of suspects, including the headmistress' uncanny husband and maybe even the helpful police doctor who's friendly with Julie. "Assault" may perhaps feature all the trademarks of a genuine Italian Giallo, it still remains a "light" version of the real thing. The plot is extremely textbook, the red herrings are very transparent and the action sequences are unspectacular and soft. There's very few sex & violence and then still most of it takes place off-screen. Still, the atmosphere is a little disturbing because the girl victims are very young and clearly vulnerable. One sequence is particularly questionable & gratuitous, as it involves a sleaze middle-aged guy fondling a young girl whilst she climbs up a ladder in the library. The most interesting aspect about this film is to witness Italian styles mix with typically British characteristics. Even the most perverted blokes behave very British and talk with a sophisticated yet arrogant tone of voice. Suzy Kendall was probably the best casting choice imaginable, as she played in some actual Italian Giallo highlights such as "The Bird with Crystal Plumage", "Torso" and "Spasmo". It's a remotely interesting cinematic 'marriage' between two nations with solid reputations in the horror genre, but definitely not the best movie in its type.

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