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The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)

Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel (original title)
M | | Horror, Mystery | 21 May 1969 (USA)
In the Olden Tymes, Count Regula is drawn and quartered for killing twelve virgins in his dungeon torture chamber. Thirty-five years later, he comes back to seek revenge on the daughter of ... See full summary »


Harald Reinl


Manfred R. Köhler (screenplay), Edgar Allan Poe (story "The Pit and the Pendulum")




Complete credited cast:
Lex Barker ... Roger Mont Elise / Roger von Marienberg
Karin Dor ... Baroness Lilian von Brabant
Christopher Lee ... Count Frederic Regula / Graf von Andomai
Carl Lange ... Anatol
Christiane Rücker ... Babette
Vladimir Medar Vladimir Medar ... Pater Fabian
Dieter Eppler ... Coachman


In the Olden Tymes, Count Regula is drawn and quartered for killing twelve virgins in his dungeon torture chamber. Thirty-five years later, he comes back to seek revenge on the daughter of his intended thirteenth victim and the son of his prosecutor in order to attain immortal life. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BEAUTIES! The Prey of a Monster's Desires! See more »


Horror | Mystery


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The wall paintings seen in the castle resemble works by Hieronymus Bosch. See more »


When the Iron Maiden mask is applied to Regula's face and he is seen being led through the hallways there is no blood visible on him. There are about 15 or 16 spikes visible in the mask. Facial wounds bleed very much. See more »


Count Frederic Regula: The blood is the life.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Severin Films (Blu-ray) has a running time of 83:17 min and is the most complete version. See more »


Referenced in The Big Box: Christmas Evil (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Visually stunning Teutonic Horror.
15 February 2006 | by BrentCarletonSee all my reviews

It is fortuitous that this film has at last reached the light of day again, (via DVD) since it provides a welcome reminder of the type of Saturday matinée "scary" fare 1960s parents could safely drop the youngsters off to see--in some ways similar to 1962's "The Magic Sword."

Boasting a very "Siegfried" style hero in Lex Barker, a particularly comely brunette heroine, and Christopher Lee at his most cadaverously malevolent, horror fans should not be disappointed in the regulation personalities. Nor will they be disappointed in the abundance of Gothic contrivances: snakes, skulls, potions, glass coffins, razor pendulums etc. etc. And to those with questions about the logic of the narrative, don't bother with them--the rapid fire pacing won't wait for you to find an answer anyway--if nothing else this film does move!

Ultimately, however, it is in the visuals that this film most impresses. Production design and color are of a very high order indeed, ranking very favorably against Jack Asher and Mario Bava, and it is impossible to believe that the previous work of these two gentlemen is not deliberately evoked here.

Much could be observed in this connection, but suffice it to say that rarely has a nocturnal forest been presented more balefully, with gnarled trees juxtaposed against an ultramarine sky.

Even more in its favor is the effective use of a medieval Bavarian town, whose quaint architecture seems right out of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Here is an example of location shooting that counts for something! Overall, although the credits credit Edgar Allan Poe as the basis of the story, the piece feels altogether more like a "penny-dreadful" hybrid pastiche of the aforementioned Hoffmann and Ludwig Tieck.

Highly recommended for admirers of the genre.

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West Germany



Release Date:

21 May 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Torture Chamber See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Constantin Film See more »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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