Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Monday, October 03, 2011

31 Days Has October: TORTURE GARDEN

Our second Amicus horror anthology based on the works of Robert Bloch, is 1967's Torture Garden. I enjoy the film, especially the exquisite camerawork of director Freddie Francis, but it's not all that scary, mostly because three of the four Bloch stories chosen to be adapted simply don't work very well on film.

The first segment is quite a bit of classic, Old School Gothic horror fun, but the second tale just doesn't work in this format, though I think, with a better director and a sharper, more satirical script, it could make a helluva movie on its own. The third story, in which a young woman becomes romantically involved with a concert pianist only to incur the jealous rage of his piano, is just way too friggin' goofy. The final segment, "The Man Who Collected Poe," is probably the best of the quartet, mostly because stars Peter Cushing and Jack Palance seem to be having a ball filming it.

I reviewed the Sony DVD for my DVD Late Show column back in 2005, and hadn't seen it since. It's fun, but probably my least favorite of the Amicus films I've seen....

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