Hammer films have been receiving a lot of attention through the many remastered Blu-ray releases by the likes of Powerhouse Films and Studiocanal, but what about Amicus Productions? Well Powerhouse Films has also seen fit to tick that box by releasing the horror film Torture Garden (1967) on Blu-ray. Having already established an excellent reputation for quality releases (both picture quality & film selections) I don’t anticipate any worries with this one. So without further ado here’s my Torture Garden Blu-ray Review.
- Torture Garden (1967)
- Genre: Horror
- Running Time: 93 Mins
- UK Rating 12
- Discs: 1
- Released By Powerhouse Films aka Indicator
- Blu-ray Released: 30th October 2017
Five people visit a fairground in which there all attend a sideshow called the Torture Garden run by a man known as Dr Diabolo. Each of them is give the opportunity to see what future events lies ahead for them. The film then proceeds to show four stories.
A man decides to take advantage of his uncles failing health in order to extract more money from him, however his Uncle has a strange secret that revolves around a mysterious cat.
In Terror Over Hollywood:
An actress is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top however she gets far more than she bargained for when she discovers her co-stars have a bizarre secret.
In Mr. Steinway:
A concert pianist finds the perfect girlfriend however his piano, Euterpe takes an instant dislike to her and takes revenge.
In The Man Who Collected Poe:
Ronald Wyatt is a fanatical Edgar Allan Poe collector that has the pleasure of meeting fellow collector Lancelot Canning. He just so happens to have something that Mr Wyatt must have. Following an invitation by Canning to see some unseen works of Edgar Allan Poe, Mr Wyatt discovers that Poe lives on.
The film then returns to the fairground and the Torture Garden to conclude the framing story.
All of the stories were written by Robert Bloch.
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Freddie Francis with the cinematography handled by Norman Warwick. This is a horror anthology comprising of four main stories that come together in the epilogue. This is a mechanic used in several of Amicus Productions films and works very well. Some of the stories are better than others but as a whole they all work well together.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Don Banks and James Bernard and sets the tone perfectly. Those familiar with Hammer films will probably notice some similarities from parts provided by James Bernard.
Acting / Characters
All of the main characters put in excellent performances with the film broken into four main stories that link back to the films beginning and conclusion.
Burgess Meredith plays the mysterious Dr. Diabolo, the man who seems to want to scare his audience with a frightful look into their potential futures. He does this very well and in doing so links the whole film together.
Personally any film with Peter Cushing in it is going to be worth watching, he always takes his role seriously no matter how small a part he may have. This in turn improves the overall experience and helps to bring out better performances from those he acts alongside.
- Jack Palance as Ronald Wyatt
- Burgess Meredith as Dr. Diabolo
- Beverly Adams as Carla Hayes
- Peter Cushing as Lancelot Canning
- Michael Bryant as Colin Williams
- Barbara Ewing as Dorothy Endicott
- John Standing as Leo
- John Phillips as Storm
- Michael Ripper as Gordon Roberts
- Bernard Kay as Dr. Heim
- Maurice Denham as Uncle Roger
- Ursula Howells as Miss Chambers
- David Bauer as Charles
- Niall MacGinnis as Doctor
Conclusion – Torture Garden Film Review
I think the Amicus Productions style of doing the horror anthology works well, they have a good style and it always helps if there are also a few top actors to really take the film up a level and that’s exactly what we have with Torture Garden. I enjoyed all of the stories but my personal favourite has to be the one about the Edgar Allan Poe collector starring Jack Palance and Peter Cushing.
All in all Torture Garden is a thoroughly entertaining horror anthology which is well worth watching.
If you like my Torture Garden Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- Hammer Volume One Fear Warning Boxset Review
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- The Snorkel (1958)
- Cash on Demand (1961)
- Wolf (1994)
- Fear in the Night (1972)
Torture Garden Blu-ray Review
The picture quality on this new version of Torture Garden (1967) is excellent, the picture is clean and free of any dirt marks whilst the image is sharp and the colours appear to be spot on. As I expected this is another magnificent Blu-ray release from Powerhouse Films.
On the extras front there is a rather a lot to take in but there are plenty of interesting interviews providing plenty of little snippets of information about the film and writer Robert Bloch which is all well worth watching.
Kim Newman’s feature is always worth checking out as he always adds some interesting nuggets of information that are a must for any horror film fan.
It’s great that the extended TV cut is included for us film fans although there is little added that makes any real difference.
- Original 93 minute Theatrical Version
- Extended 100 Minute TV Cut
- The Guardian Interview with Freddie Francis (1995) (77mins)
- Production Supervisor Ted Wallis on Torture Garden (2017) (5 mins)
- Ramsey Campbell on Robert Bloch (2017) (17 mins)
- Fiona Subotsky on Milton Subotsky (2017) (8 mins)
- Kim Newman on Torture Garden (2017) (25 mins)
- Original Trailer
- Stills Gallery
- Lobby Cards
- Limited Edtion 36 page booklet
- Reversible Sleeve
On to my movie rating for Torture Garden (1967)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Torture Garden (1967) is available now on Blu-ray.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s my Torture Garden Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Torture Garden Blu-ray Review (1967)
Director(s): Freddie Francis,
Actor(s): Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Peter Cushing, Beverly Adams,
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Torture Garden is a thoroughly entertaining horror anthology.