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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Torture Garden (1967)

Starring Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing, Maurice Denham
Directed by Freddie Francis
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

In this horror anthology, a carnival showman named Dr. Diablo offers five strangers the chance to see the terrifying events they are due to experience in their future.

One of the most polished of the horror anthologies put out by Britain's Amicus studio in the 1960s, this one features American stars Palance, Meredith, and Adams in addition to the usual British stalwarts and benefits from a pretty good script by Psycho's Robert Bloch.  Meredith makes an intriguing host for the framing story, adding the proper sinister touches in his narration.  The showpiece among the horror tales is likely Palance's story, featuring the actor as a Edgar Allan Poe enthusiast given the opportunity to view Cushing's very exclusive collection of the author's works.  While not all of the tales are particularly terrifying, they all captured my interest, and in my view, make this one of Amicus' most entertaining productions.

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