Torture Garden (1967)

93m, 8376 feet/2553 metres
35mm, Technicolor
mono, English

A British horror anthology film directed by Freddie Francis.

Plot Summary

Dr Diablo, a sinister circus sideshowman, promises to reveal to his customers their innermost desires and proceeds to spin a quartet of horrific yarns. Enoch: Williams murders his frail old uncle to get his hands on a fortune. But the uncle's supernaturally gifted, telepathic cat uses Williams to keep up his supply of the human heads he eats; Terror Over : would-be starlet Carla discovers the horrific secret of her favourite stars' success and endless youthfulness; Mr Steinway: possessed by the malevolent spirit of the mother of a famous pianist, Leo, a Steinway piano goes berserk when a young woman, Dorothy falls in love with Leo and threatens to take him away from ‘her'; The Man Who Collected Poe: Wyatt, an obsessive Poe fanatic, murders dealer Canning and inherits his collection, including an unpublished manuscript. But down in the basement is the prize find – Poe himself, resurrected by Canning…


Directed by: Freddie Francis
© MCMLXVII [1967] by Amicus Productions Limited
An Amicus production
Produced by: Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky
Production Supervisor: Ted Wallis
Production Manager: Tony Wallis
Written by: Robert Bloch
Assistant Director: Derek Parr
Continuity: Barbara Rowlands
Director of Photography: Norman Warwick
Camera Operator: David Harcourt
Camera Grip: Ray Jones
Editor: Peter Elliott
Music Composed by: Don Banks and James Bernard
Conducted by: Philip Martell
Piano Solo Played by: Martino Tirimo
Sound Recordist: Ken Rawkins
Sound Editor: Ken Rolls
RCA Sound Recording
Wardrobe Mistress: Evelyn Gibbs
Make-up: Jill Carpenter
Hairdresser: Ann Fordyce
Production Designer: Bill Constable
Art Directors: Don Mingaye, Scott Slimon
Set Dresser: Andrew Low
Construction Manager: Bill Waldron
Made at: Shepperton Studios

[in story order – not credited this way on screen]
Framing Story
Burgess Meredith (Dr Diabolo)
Michael Ripper (Gordon Roberts)
Clytie Jessop (Atropos)
Timothy Bateson (fairground barker)

Michael Bryant (Colin Williams)
Maurice Denham (Colin's uncle)
Niall McGinnis (doctor)
Catherine Finn (Nurse Parker)
Michael Hawkins (constable)

Terror Over Hollywood
Beverly Adams (Carla Hayes)
Robert Hutton (Bruce Benton)
John Phillips (Eddie Storm)
David Bauer (Mike Charles)
Nicole Shelby (Millie)
Bernard Kay (Dr Heim)

Mr Steinway
Barbara Ewing (Dorothy Endicott)
John Standing (Leo)
Ursula Howells (Maxine Chambers)

The Man Who Collected Poe
Jack Palance (Ronald Wyatt)
Peter Cushing (Lancelot Canning)
Hedger Wallace (Edgar Allan Poe)

Roy Stevens
Norman Claridge
Roy Godfrey
James Copeland
Barry Low

Alternative Titles

Il giardino delle torture – Italian title
Le jardin des tortures – French title


The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.193
The Daily Cinema no.9450 (22 November 1967) p.6 – review
The Edgar Allan Poe Scrapbook edited by Peter Haining pp140; .191 – article (The Spectres of Edgar Allan by Ron Haydock); article (Poe, Corman and Price: A Tale of Terrors by Ron Haydock);
Kine Weekly no.3136 (18 November 1967) p.19- review
Midi-Minuit Fantastique no.18/19 (December/January 1967/1968) p.84-88 – credits, synopsis, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.35 no.408 January 1968 pp.6-7 – credits, synopsis, review
Peter Cushing: The Gentle Man of Horror and His 91 Films by Deborah Del Vecchio and Tom Johnson pp.215-220
The Poe Cinema: A Critical Filmography by Don G. Smith pp.189-193
Shivers no.36 pp.26-27- illustrated review
Sight & Sound vol.3 no.9 (September 1993) p.62 – video review
Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.39-41
Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) pp.13; 40-43 – illustrated interview with Milton Subotsky (The Amicus brain by Gwynne Comber); note (Top ten)
Variety 28 February 1968 p.6 – credits, synopsis, review

Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood pp.50-55 – illustrated credits, review
The Columbia Checklist: The Feature Films, Cartoons, Serials and Short Subjects of Columbia Pictures, 1922-1988 by Len D. Martin p.362
Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928-1982 by Michael R. Pitts pp.256-257
English Gothic pp.137-138 – credits, review (by Jonathan Rigby)
Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.481
Kine Yearbook 1969 p.120 – credits
by Walt Lee p.499 – credits

Other sources
British National Film Catalogue vol.6 (1968) – credits