Friday, November 20, 2020

Tales That Witness Madness Movie Review

 


Tales that Witness Madness is a 1973 horror anthology movie directed by Freddie Francis and starring Donald Pleasence, Kim Novak, Joan Collins and Suzy Kendall.

The film begins in a mental institution with a psychiatrist called Dr. Tremayne (Pleasence)who is meeting the younger Dr. Nicholas(Jack Hawkins) and telling him that he has been working on four cases. They go to visit each one. The first one is called Mr.Tiger. It is about a young boy called Paul. His parents are fighting and he is listening to it. He has an imaginary friend called Mr. Tiger. He tells his mother about it, but she isn't happy. She and his father discuss it. Mr. Tiger needs meat and bones. Paul takes them from the kitchen to feed to him.  His mother catches him and she tells his father what Paul has been up to. They try and find out what is going on but Mr. Tiger makes an appearance and he kills both of the parents, showing us that he is more than just an imaginary friend.

 
The second tale is called Penny Farthing. It begins in an antique shop. A man called Timothy(Peter McEnry) has a portrait in his shop of Uncle Albert. He got furniture and bits and pieces from his aunt. There is a penny farthing bicycle there. The portrait seems to be coming alive. The wheels of the bicycle start to move. Timothy looks at the portrait and it tries to draw him in. He ends up on the bicycle and he goes back in time. He sees a young woman called Beatrice(Suzy Kendall) and he likes her. He comes back and he tells his girlfriend Ann who is identical to Beatrice. He goes back a few times and Ann thinks that he should destroy it. He sets the portrait on fire. The portrait tries to destroy Ann. Tim is pulled into the fire. Ann is killed by a sword. Tim cycles back in time, but he is on fire. He is dead. Tim wakes up in an institution.


 The third story is Mel. A man called Brian(Michael Jayston) finds a tree trunk. He decides to bring it into the house. His wife, Bella(Collins) does not like it one little bit. He finds a name for it. Mel. The tree seems to have a weird human like shape. The tree does not like Bella. When she tries to mess with it, it cuts her hand. Bella tells Brian about it. He doesn't take any notice. He gets more and more involved with the tree. Bella gets angrier and angrier about it. She gets a machete and she tries to cut the tree to bits, but it kills her instead. Brian sees what has happens and he buries the wife and he and the tree become a couple!

 
     
The last story is called Luau . This tale begins with a woman called Auriol Pageant(Novak), a literary agent who wants to do business with a strange young man called Kimo. She is throwing him a big party and she wants her daughter Ginny(Mary Tamm), to help her.  Kimo is very interested in Ginny. He has picked her out as 'the one'. He finds out that she is going to France alone. He tells her that he will follow her there. He has chosen her as a sacrifice. His mother is dying and he needs to consume the flesh of a young virgin to ensure that she has a peaceful afterlife. He has Ginny cooked and he serves her at the party. He serves her to Auriol and when she finds out, she goes crazy. Hence her stay in the institution.


The movie ends with Tremayne being declared insane for believing the stories by the younger doctor. Dr. Nicholas ends up getting locked in with Paul and Mr. Tiger. It kills him, proving that the stories were true. I really enjoyed this one. I hadn't heard of it before I watched it, but it proved to be a fun anthology. The cast were great and the stories were entertaining. If you enjoy the anthologies from Amicus, then this will be right up your street. This feels like one of those. Overall, a very enjoyable film with a great cast. I would certainly recommend this. I will give it a 7/10.

 


Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism Movie Review

 


Trailer here.

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism or The Blood Demon is a 1967 German horror movie directed by Harald Reinl and starring Christopher Lee, Karin Dor, Lex Barker and Carl Lange.


A man called Count Regula(Lee) is found guilty of torturing people in his castle. He is killed by the local people but before he dies, he threatens to destroy all of their families. Cut to thirty five years later, and a man called Roger Mont Elise(Barker) receives a letter inviting him and Baroness Lilian(Dor) to stay at Blood Castle, where the infamous Count Regula did his evil deeds years ago. They arrive in the area and the locals are afraid when Roger asks them about the castle. The locals are trying to drive out the evil that persists since the Count's demise. Roger talks to a local man called Fabian(Vladimir Medar), who tells him that the castle is evil. He tells Roger about Regula and tells him that the Count is dead and that he is in danger if he goes to the castle. The locals called it the Bloody Castle. Roger knows nothing about his past and he is very curious about it. The Baroness is promised an inheritance and she wants to get it. On their way to the castle, they see body parts hanging from the trees and their driver has a heart attack and dies.


 

The Baroness and her maid, Babette(Christian Rucker) get abducted by men and taken away. Roger and Fabian look for them. They find Regula's grave. They also come upon the castle. They look around and they get locked inside. A man appears. He is Anatol(Lange), the evil servant of Count Regula. He tells them to come with him and they find Lilian, who seems to be acting strangely. She is scared. Babette is being tortured by Roger and Fabian save her. She tells them that Anatol attacked her. Fabian confronts the servant and he shoots him. It turns out that Anantol is already dead! He says that Count Regula is waiting for them. Roger has a look around and he finds dead girls. What is going on in this den of evil?



Anatol has the dead body of Regula in a glass coffin. He is planning on resurrecting him. Regula comes back to life and informs them that he needs the blood of one more young woman to complete his quest for eternal life. He tells them that he killed twelve and he needed thirteen but he was unable to kill her before he got caught by the locals. The thirteenth girl was Lilian's mother. She handed him over to the police. Roger's father was the one who sentenced him to death , so he wants revenge. He wants Lilian's blood to complete his eternal life. Roger gets tied up and tortured with a pendulum which is swinging over his head. It is getting closer and closer all the time and it is sharp. Lilian is forced to watch until she can't anymore. She runs off through the castle passages. She sees spiders and scorpions. She ends up locked in a room with snakes. She is close to falling into a pit filled with them.  She gets out and Roger also escapes from his torturous trap. He finds Fabian and they search for the Baroness.



Count Regula sends his evil cohort to get Lilian's blood. Roger has a crucifix. The Count tells him that he must destroy it or he will kill Lilian. He and Anatol are frightened of it. Roger swings it like the pendulum and then he throws it at the Count. This causes Count Regula to disintegrate into nothing along with his creepy servant. The castle starts to fall apart also. Roger and the others leave before it is destroyed. He and the Baroness share a kiss before walking away.



This is not a well known film. I hadn't heard of it until recently and I loved the title! Christopher Lee doesn't get loads of screen time in this, but he is always great when he does show up. I liked the cast and the setting of the castle filled with torture devices and traps was eerie. The scene that stood out for me in this was the forest filled with severed body parts hanging from the trees. That was a really good scene and creepy too. So, if you can get your hands on this one, it is worth a look. I am giving it a 5/10.

 



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