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The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sadism (1967)

DVD Cover (Jef Films)
Genres:
Gothic Film, Horror, Thriller, Zombie Film
Director:
Harald Reinl Harald Reinl
Starring:
Lex Barker Lex Barker
Karin Dor Karin Dor
Christopher Lee Christopher Lee
Carl Lange Carl Lange
Christiane Rücker Christiane Rücker
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> Public Domain Films

6.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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In the Olden Tymes, Count Regula is drawn and quartered for killing twelve virgins in his dungeon torture chamber. Thirty-five years later, he comes back to seek revenge on the daughter of his intended thirteenth victim and the son of his prosecutor in order to attain immortal life. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: May 03, 2004
Thirty five years ago, Count Regula tortured and murdered twelve virgins. He was attempting to kill off a thirteenth lady, but she escaped and reported him to the coppers. The Count was executed for his crimes by means of being drawn and quartered. Now, in present times (which looks to be around 1850 or so), two people who seem to have nothing in common receive letters that they should come to the castle where Regula lived. Not knowing what happened and who he was, they both end up going there to see what the deal is. So the crew right now consists of Roger (Lex Barker), Lillian (Karin Dor) and her servant Babbette. They meet up with a priest along the way, and he also tags along for the ride. When they arrive at the castle, it's revealed that the Count has been resurrected, and is trying to murder the thirteenth lady in order to become immortal, and he chose this particular lady because her mother is the one who escaped him. The guy was chosen because his pops is the one who sentenced him to death, so that's just a touch of extra revenge there.

This movie was supposedly based on the book "The Pit And The Pendulum" by Edgar Allen Poe, however, that's not quite true. There is a pendulum scene, however, that is not the main focus of the movie by far, and other than that, I don't see a connection. Not really a problem, just my observation.

Since this movie is almost forty years old, I was quite shocked at how decent the various effects were. Sure, they weren't extremely grand or anything, but for the time, it was very nice. For example, on the way to the castle, they go through a forest where there's corpses growing out of the trees, and dozens of hung men. This scene was excellently done, and surprisingly realistic looking. There's some scenes where claymation / stop-animation were used, but even those were alright. One gripe I did have was a scene in the castle. The corpses of the twelve deceased ladies were laying around in various torture / restraint devices, and they used real people for the bodies. No motion or movement was required, obviously, but they were actual people. In a scene soon after this, the corpse that is being messed with is an obvious mannequin, like the ones you'd see wearing clothes in a store. Why they didn't just use one of the living corpses that were so abundant a scene earlier is beyond me.

There were a few scenes that were a bit boring, though. They tried to use snakes, scorpions, and spiders to scare the people, and storyline-wise, it worked; but to me, these scenes were just overly boring and should have been changed up a bit. Other than those, the movie did flow quite nicely and was pretty entertaining.

The acting by the various people is solid enough; nothing ground-breaking or marvelous, but nobody was bad in their role either. Christopher Lee seemed a bit underused in his role as Regula, as he really didn't get too much on screen time, only about twenty minutes at the end. There's absolutely no gore or death whatsoever to be found, unless you count the death of the already-dead Regula. I'm sure this wouldn't sit too well with most modern audiences, but in my opinion, it didn't hurt the film at all.

Overall, a pretty nice movie, and I'd recommend it to those who like classic cinema. 6/10.
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