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Torture Garden (1967)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Torture Garden (1967) In the vein of the original TALES FROM THE CRYPT movie, this is about a Circus act that brings people in and shows them their possible fate if they're not careful to temptation. It's also the first time I've seen Burgess Meredith, Jack Palance and Peter Cushing in the same movie together, which is cool.A group of people enter the tent, are greeted by the showman (Burgess), who seems a bit sinister, and are told about the 'Shears of Fate'. If they stand before this like-like statue of this woman holding up these huge shears they will be able to see some point in their future. One man sees himself killing his rich uncle-and then finding the source of those riches is a witch. He opens her grave and out of the bones comes this cat-which is her. She can even control his mind. In the end he wants to get away but the cat literally gets his tongue. In the next story a would-be-Hollywood actress is trying to get ahead by trying to blackmail some of the top bigwigs-and boy, has she messed with the wrong people. The secret about them she has is so dangerous that they will kill her once she knows of it. In the next story a young woman falls in love with a concert pianist-but the Piano is jealous of her. When she and the pianist agree to run off together that night, the piano gets her alone in a room and literally attacks her, rolling across the room and pushing her out of a window. The last story, starring Jack Palance as an obsessive Edgar Allen Poe collector, brings the anthology to a decent close. He finds another collector (Peter Cushing), who has some unpublished work by Poe and will not sell it for any amount of money. Palance reads them-and knows they are authentic-but the type of paper they are written on is recent, not from Poe's time at all. When he accuses Cushing of making them up, Cushing takes him into the background, explaining that the previous collector, his grandfather knew magic and was able to resurrect the writer. And there he sits, looking very pale. The only way he can be released from his imprisonment is if someone would take his place in hell. And Palance, a very crazy Poe fanatic, agrees to the terms. When his experience ends he seems very pleased-and he seems to know exactly who Burgess Meredith is, which by this time is probably no secret-he is The Devil himself.Written by Robert Bloch (PSYCHO)Directed by Freddie Francis
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