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Garden of Death (1974)
"The Gardener" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror  |  October 1974 (USA)
4.0
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Ratings: 4.0/10 from 208 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 23 critic

A sinister landscaper turns into a tree and learns to communicate with his fellow plants.

Director:

(as Jim Kay)

Writer:

(as Jim Kay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ellen Bennett
...
Carl, the Gardener
Rita Gam ...
Helena Boardman
James Congdon ...
John Bennett
Anne Meacham ...
Mrs. García
Teodorina Bello ...
Liza, the Maid
Ivan Rodriguez ...
Max
Esther Mari ...
Rosa
Roberto Negron ...
Ralph
Hal Lasky ...
Fred Burrows
Cass Fry ...
Jinny
Robert Yoh ...
Robby
Tanny McDonald ...
Mrs. Burrows
Katherine De Beer ...
Gladys Stone
Orlando Rodriguez ...
Mr. Von Wohl
Edit

Storyline

Carl the Gardner (Joe Dallesandro), grows odd plants for a rich Yankee woman Ellen Bennett (Katharine Houghton) living in South America while exercising a mental hold over her. All his previous employers died mysteriously. Some of his plants emit deadly fumes. Houghton previously starred with her aunt Katharine Hepburn in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Garden of LOVE... Garden of DEATH, He Plants the Seeds of Evil

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Garden of Death  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Chinese straw hat that Katharine Houghton wears in one scene was worn as a homage to Houghton's aunt, renowned actress Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn wore a similar hat in Dragon Seed (1944). See more »

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User Reviews

Weightless hippie-horror pipedream, mostly just seeds and shake.
14 August 2011 | by (fabulous Las Vega$!) – See all my reviews

Warhol entourage beefcake Joe Dallessandro portrays Karl, a gardener in the employment of a wealthy but neglected housewife(Katharine Houghton, miles downstream from her earlier success in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER). His command of the botanical arts is impressive, but his references are tough to check considering most of his previous employers have died. Suspiciously.

Houghton's garden is soon the envy of her upper-crust clique, and her reserved and perpetually bare-chested gardener becomes the object of much lustful flutter among her female friends. The rest of the household staff(natives to the South American environs where this is set and filmed) are less enthusiastic about Karl's presence, and they warn their housemistress of his evil wizardry. Shrugging off this superstitious cautioning, she becomes increasingly drawn to Karl...but when people around her begin to die mysteriously, she comes to suspect a tenebrous connection to the flora cultivated by her brooding and sexually Svengali-like greenskeeper. The bizarre eventuality of this mystery is the manifestation of Karl's true nature. It seems he is...quite literally...a tree.

While THE GARDENER is a semi-creditable example of an under-the-radar horror film ethos, it's not likely to have strong appeal to the mainstream viewing integer. Sluggishly paced and lacking 'comme il faut' shocks and bloodshed, it does otherwise manage to build an obfuscous atmosphere of weblike mystique.

A mellow horror high for some, probably a harsh toke for others...5/10


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