21 December 2014

Torture Garden (1967)
93 min.
Directed by Freddie Francis.
With Burgess Meredith, Peter Cushing, Jack Palance, Beverly Adams, Maurice Denham, Barbara Ewing, Michael Bryant, John Standing, Robert Hutton, Michael Ripper, John Phillips, Bernard Kay.
Burgess Meredith shines in this original Amicus anthology based on a quartet of stories penned by Robert Bloch.

Carny frontman Dr. Diabolo (Meredith) invites a group of paying customers for a private peek at their individual fates.

In Enoch, an attempt to gain the secret to his uncle's fortune, a greedy slacker unearths a head eating cat...and instead seals his own fate;

In Terror Over Hollywood, an ambitious starlet discovers that being on top in Hollywood can lead to a very robotic existence;

In Mr. Steinway, a young woman hooks up with a gifted pianist...but ends up playing a deadly second fiddle to his muse;

And in The Man Who Collected Poe, overzealous literary Poe collector Palance meets fellow enthusiast Cushing, but discovers the latter has acquired the most elusive memorabilia...the dark poet himself.

Overall, well directed by Francis, who would develop quite the knack for these portmanteau horrors helming such fare as Tales That Witness Madness (1973) and Tales from the Crypt (1972).

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