Review: Torture Garden

Blu-ray: Torture Garden (1967)

Amicus Productions made many fantastic movies between 1962 and 1977, though they are widely regarded for their horror anthologies of which Torture Garden was their 2nd.

Torture Garden’s 4 short stories are framed by a group of people visiting Dr. Diablo’s fairground haunted house attraction. Dr. Diablo (Burgess Meredith) invites them to see ‘horrors they could not imagine’ (for an extra £5 of course) in a secluded section of the attraction. What the people don’t know, is that they are going to see what could be their fate played out before them.

The short stories consist of; a cat who is the familiar of a witch and entices a man to follow his greed…no matter what the cost. A woman obsessed with becoming a famous actress is tempted to lose her humanity to achieve her dream. A musician is caught in a love triangle when a woman comes between him and his piano…think Christine but with ivory keys instead of steel pistons. The final story has 2 men (Jack Palance and Peter Cushing) who are Edgar Allan Poe fanatics and are willing to risk everything to add to their collection.

Burgess Meredith is captivating as Dr. Diablo, relishing his evil character with the same fervour that he put into his portrayal of Penguin in the 1960’s Batman television series. Though I of course always think he’s just about to tell everyone to “eat lightning and crap thunder“.

I’ve long been a fan of Amicus Productions and especially their horror anthologies and Torture Garden is a movie that I’ve watched many times already, and will do so even more thanks to this great release from Powerhouse Films.

The special features are superb, with a 77 minute video interview with director Freddie Francis being a particular highlight of mine, and the inclusion of the world premiere Blu-ray presentation of the original 93 minute theatrical cut is yet another reason to buy this immediately.

Torture Garden looks the best it has ever been AND is accompanied by special features that give plenty of insight into both the movie and the filmmakers. Another essential purchase from Powerhouse Films.

    • High Definition remaster
    • Original mono audio
    • World premiere Blu-ray presentation of the original theatrical cut (93 mins)
    • Alternative presentation of the extended TV cut (100 mins)
    The Guardian Interview with Freddie Francis (1995, 77 mins): the great cinematographer and director in conversation with journalist Alan Jones recorded at the National Film Theatre, London
    Production Supervisor Ted Wallis on ‘Torture Garden’ (2017, 5 mins): a brief look at the film’s production
    Ramsey Campbell on Robert Bloch (2017, 17 mins): the horror-fiction author explores the importance of the prolific Bloch
    Fiona Subotsky on Milton Subotsky (2017, 8 mins): a personal remembrance
    Kim Newman on ‘Torture Garden’ (2017, 25 mins): new appreciation by the author and genre-film expert
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • Stills Gallery: on-set and promotional photography
    • Lobby Cards and Posters Gallery: an extensive selection of original international promotional material
    • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
    • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Laura Mayne, an overview of Amicus Productions, and extracts from the original press kit, advertising and promotion guide
    • UK premiere on Blu-ray
    • Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

You can buy Torture Garden by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes!

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.