Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Torture Garden (1967)

"You have seen torture. Now I'm gonna show you death."
- Dr. Diablo (Burgess Meredith)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: January 19, 2006

Stars: Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith
Other Stars: Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing, Maurice Denham, Michael Bryant, Robert Hutton
Director: Freddie Francis

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, violence)
Run Time: 01h:40m:14s
Release Date: October 04, 2005
UPC: 043396111806
Genre: horror

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C B-C+C D-

DVD Review

The anthology film has never been done better than 1982's Creepshow. While there have been countless, inferior imitators, that anthology film led many people to forget that such projects have been around for decades. One of the earlier examples of this is 1967's Torture Garden. This is the product of producers Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg, who made a few films at that time to compete with the Hammer horror craze. Most of these paled in comparison to the Hammer productions, but Torture Garden actually has some good qualities that allow it to rank at least somewhat near those classic films.

Torture Garden definitely has a strong cast going for it, led by Jack Palance and Burgess Meredith. The latter plays Dr. Diablo, the proprietor of a fairground who also runs an elaborate torture exhibit. Diablo's attraction is much more than it seems, though, as he brings various people into a back room, where there are hypnotized and see unsettling future events unfold in front of them. These events are presented as four separate stories wrapped around the centerpiece with Dr. Diablo.

The first involves Colin Williams (Michael Bryant), who lets his uncle (Maurice Denham) die so he can inherit his fortune. What Colin doesn't suspect is that a powerful cat knows what he's done and wants revenge. Next, we find actress Carla Hayes (Beverly Adams) and her new beau, Paul (Robert Hutton), who has a secret age-defying technique that terrifies her. Then, we learn of Dorothy Endicott (Barbara Ewing), who is trying to keep her fiancée, Storm (John Phillips) away from his mother and a powerful piano. The final storyline involves Ronald Wyatt (Jack Palance) a man who adores Poe, and will do anything to acquire a collection from his rival, Lancelot Canning (Peter Cushing). Little does he know that Lancelot and the late Poe have a special connection.

All of these separate stories are engaging, but the Palance/Cushing tale is the reason to see Torture Garden. These are two of the all-time best character actors, and they are at the top of their games here. Anything involving Edgar Allen Poe is interesting, let alone scary, and that's surely the case with this portion of the film. The only disappointing aspect of this story is how short it is. The main plotline could have easily been drawn out a bit more, and here, seemingly due to time constraints, things go by very fast and we're left wanting more.

The rest of the stories are effective also, with more great performances from a who's who of '60s character actors, but the man to watch is Burgess Meredith. His work as Dr. Diablo is just as campy as it is creepy, but the bottom line is that it's fun, and Meredith seems to be having a blast with this demented guy. This character could have ground Torture Garden to a halt every time he appears between stories, but Meredith took it upon himself to make these transitions as smooth and fun as possible. Meredith will always be remembered as The Penguin in the Batman TV series and as Mickey in Rocky, but his turn in Torture Garden deserves recognition too.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: This 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is a nice surprise. While it still has a dated overall look, it appears to benefit from some clean-up work that has eliminated much of the dirt and debris from the source material. The overall image is slightly soft, but the color scheme is nicely rendered, as there isn't any bleeding or other problems in this department.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track isn't anything special, but is problem-free. Everything basically stays up front, but the key to the film is the dialogue and that is always crystal clear and never distorted.

Audio Transfer Grade: C


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Japanese with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Frankenfish, Devour, Vampires: The Turning, Kingdom Hospital
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras are previews for other DVD releases.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Torture Garden is a fun picture in the same vein as the Hammer pictures. Powered by some fine acting, the film makes its DVD debut from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment via a bare bones disc that does feature solid audio and video, especially considering its age.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store