Torture Garden (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Torture Garden1968

Torture Garden (1968)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Torture Garden Photos

Movie Info

This horror film takes place in a carnival sideshow which stars Dr. Diablo (Burgess Meredith). Diablo is a mystic who gives chilling predictions to gullible rubes about people's future. Ronald Wyatt (Jack Palance) is obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe and wishes to perfect his magic and mystery at the carnival. When Diablo is stabbed by a patron fearful of finding out what the future holds, the crowd believes Diablo is dead. He rises up alive and eager to pull off the ruse on the next town of unsuspecting, slack-jawed yokels. An aspiring young starlet, eager to remain beautiful, is trapped when she becomes a "living doll", unable to move or respond in any way. Peter Cushing also stars in this thriller about people who are willing to do anything to insure their success in the art of deception and black magic.

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Jack Palance
as Ronald Wyatt
Burgess Meredith
as Dr. Diabolo
Beverly Adams
as Carla Hayes
Michael Bryant
as Colin Williams
Peter Cushing
as Lancelot Canning
Barbara Ewing
as Dorothy Endicott
Maurice Denham
as Colin's Uncle
John Standing
as Leo Winston
Robert Hutton
as Bruce Benton
John Phillips
as Eddie Storm
Michael Ripper
as Gordon Roberts
Bernard Kay
as Dr. Heim
Catherine Finn
as Nurse Parker
Ursula Howells
as Miss Chambers
Timothy Bateson
as Fairground Barker
David Bauer
as Mike Charles
Michael Hawkins
as Constable
Hedger Wallace
as Edgar Allan Poe
Roy Stephens
as Constable
Geoffrey Wallace
as Edgar Allan Poe
Norman Claridge
as Police Sergeant
Roy Goldfrey
as Collector
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Critic Reviews for Torture Garden

All Critics (2)

A film made up of flashes of goodness interspersed with a whole lot of half-hearted mediocrity.

October 18, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

An uneven but overall effective horror portmanteau that is ably directed by the London-born Freddie Francis.

October 31, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Torture Garden

Another British horror anthology with a slightly silly title methinks. This time nothing to do with the 'Tales from the Crypt' franchise but a stand alone set of shorts which was made before in 67. The director obviously made a good job of this anthology as he was used again to direct the first 'Tales' film, possibly taking many influences with him. The frame/wrap plot for this horror sees a group of five people enter into a horror house or sideshow of sorts in a funfair. The 'show' is run by 'Dr Diabolo' and he offers all the visitors the chance to experience real terror if they pay extra, they do...I wouldn't have. One by one they are all given the chance to glimpse into their own futures or fates at the shears of Atropos, a strangely real looking statue (which no one seems to question) of a Greek deity. From here we are given four (yes four) short tales of terror. The first has a young man letting his seemingly rich uncle die so he can find the old man's money. He searches the old house only to be brainwashed or fall under the spell of an evil cat that he finds. Second tale tells of a young woman breaking into Hollywood only to discover the secret of all the stars youthful appearances, they are all robots. The third tale is about a man and his grand piano. The grand piano is possessed and becomes jealous of its owners new love, so it takes its revenge on her. The last tale is about two Edgar Allan Poe collectors, one that wants bits of the others marvellous collection. In the end his greed sees him killing his fellow collector and having to deal with the devil and Poe himself. Its yet another British horror (we did them so well back then) so again we have some good casting but this time there is also an international flavour. This anthology offers you the talents of Palance, Burgess Meredith, Michael Bryant and again the horror legend Peter Cushing. I did like this anthology better than the first 'Tales' film. The main 'keeper' type role played by Meredith makes all the difference here. His sinister all teeth, razor sharp, Joker-like grin and villainous voice are perfect for these kind of Hammer-esque films. Then you have Jack Palance and his gleaming slit like eyes, his facial movements and sneering expressions. I always thought Palance was like that due to his age but it seems he's always been creepy. The thing that lets this down is the range of short stories it offers. One I liked which involved the major stars of Hollywood becoming robotic inside to remain young, a fun little sci-fi 'Westworld' type plot there. The others are poor really, the killer grand piano? really?, a man possessed by a black cat and the two Poe collectors. All pretty lame really, not exactly creepy scary or even fun, just dull and idiotic in the case of the grand piano. It looks good visually, again better than the first 'Tales' in my opinion but can't beat 'Vault of Horror'. The only two things I liked about this film were Meredith and Palance, Meredith especially in his post 'Penguin-like' outfits clearly making the most of that older winning role. Was cool to see Palance go up against Cushing too, epic double team there folks. A good anthology which is well worth the watch if you like these kind of films, the casting is best but the stories lack punch. I think I've repeated that a few times in this review now, you get the idea then eh.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


I love the Amicus anthology films, and this one is better than most of them. The first and last stories are the reason to see this one. I love seeing Jack Palance pop up in it, and he gives a great performance. I really liked portions of the score as they reminded me of The Twilight Zone quite a bit. Nothing can ever top Tales From the Crypt, but this is one of the better of the omnibus films.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


This horror movie has a good story, but I've seen it in a lot of other movies. The cast is good too, and for the most part I liked this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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