Torture Garden

Torture Garden

Movie: Torture Garden
Director: Freddie Francis
Produced by: Amicus, Columbia Pictures
Released By:
MPAA Rating:

The Torture Garden is an “omnibus” chiller, adapted from four short stories by Robert Bloch. Each is introduced by Burgess Meredith, playing a sinister carnival barker by the name of Dr. Diabolo. The doctor’s audience consists of five people, four of whom are apprised of their ultimate fates as Diabolo weaves his stories. In “Enoch,” a young playboy falls under the spell of a cannibalistic cat. In “Terror Over Hollywood,” a famous movie star is revealed to be an android. In “Mr. Steinway,” the “villain” is a killer piano. And in “The Man Who Collected Poe,” the title character murders another collector over a valuable Poe manuscript–only to receive retribution from ol’ Edgar himself. If we told you anything about the fifth person in Meredith’s audience, we’d be giving away the ending, wouldn’t we now? The individual episodes tend to rise and fall depending upon the strength of their stars. Among those present in Torture Garden are horror-flick regulars Jack Palance, Peter Cushing, Robert Hutton, Michael Ripper and Niall McGinniss. No, this isn’t a Hammer Production, it was put together by Hammer’s principal British rival of the 1960s, Amicus Films.

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