director Freddie Francis
It seems that nobody particularly loves the Amicus anthology horror film, Torture Garden. And I guess I’m not going to be the first one to break with the herd on it. It’s mediocrity at best, pretty stupid at worst, and yet certainly not unworthy of viewing.
Robert Bloch scripts the stories and the wrap-around here, and even with the likes of Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, and Peter Cushing, there isn’t too much vibrance.
Meredith stars in the wrap-around as Dr. Diabolo, who runs a sideshow tent with an extra bit of fortune telling horror stories. Visitors are asked to gaze upon the “shears of fate”, which is kind of weird. The best of these stories includes both Palance and Cushing as Edgar Allan Poe buffs.
I just recently started re-watching Rod Serling’s Night Gallery episodes, which ran from 1969-1970, and this film felt of its ilk. This is neither praise nor criticism, though I always preferred The Twilight Zone to its later cousin. Other Amicus anthologies have proven better, particularly Asylum (1972).