Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Torture Chamber of Dr Sadism and Death Smiles on a Murderer|
Actors: Christopher Lee, Klaus Kinski
Director: Harald Reinl;Joe D'Amato
Genres: Horror, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 04/29/2008
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Two very different faces of Gothic Euro Horror
g. speedlace | Hollywood, CA | 03/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Klaus Kinski. Christopher Lee. Karin Dor. Harald Reinl. Joe D'Amato. Talk about your cream of the Euro-Horror crop!
A loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum," THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM might just be the least fitting of this film's many alternate titles (CASTLE OF THE WALKING DEAD, BLOOD OF THE VIRGINS, etc.), but you can't deny it's one that really sticks in the brain!
With strong nods to classic Hammer films and the Roger Corman/Vincent Price Poe adaptations, this is a movie with cobwebby atmosphere to spare. It's an old-fashioned haunted castle tale, with Christopher Lee as an undead aristocrat seeking revenge against an appropriately dashing leading man (former TARZAN Lex Barker) and a suitably gorgeous damsel in distress (Karin Dor). And if that doesn't do it for you, the incredible and elaborate sets and locations will have you wishing they still made 'em like they used to.
(Be sure to watch for the visually stunning scene of the coach ride through the haunted forest surrounding Lee's castle; these few minutes of screen time have sown the seeds of many a nightmare since 1967!)
DEATH SMILES ON A MURDERER shares several Gothic elements with DR. SADISM, but its screenplay may well have been written in collaboration with a Cuisinart! I'm sure there's a coherent storyline in there somewhere, but you'll have your work cut out for you piecing it together.
Not that you'll care; this is WTF filmmaking at its finest. Before the movie's over, people will be walled up in cellars, thrown from high castles, hung on hooks like old coats, gorily mutilated by possessed cats, and raised from the dead only to be killed all over again. And if at times it's a challenge sorting out exactly what's going on, its sleazy/creepy atmosphere and bizarre and lyrical imagery more than make the head-trip worth taking.
Old school film buffs will simply be pleased to find such handsome prints of these films on DVD. But new converts to legendary filmmakers like Mario Bava or fans of Tim Burton's frequent use of Gothic Horror elements will find this pairing an excellent crash course in how it was done in the heyday of Euro-Horror."
"Any movie vit Klaus eez verth a luke!"
Paul Silva | california, usa | 03/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My name is Werner Manfred Hoffstrotten. I babel fish this review.
This movie is bigger than Star Wars in my country! Of this you can be rest assured! Children watch it on certain Saturday mornings! It is held in highest regard by the prime minister herself and only she has a cassette of it since it has been banned 62 times in her domain!
My suggestion is for you to proclaim it immediately!"
So very excited for this release
Fanny Brown Rice | USA! USA! USA! | 03/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I haven't seen this yet but I am so psyched to buy it. Done and done. The Gothic-Euro review here cracked me up, and the fact that someone chose to give this one star BEFORE release means there's got to be good because some competitor is jealous as a green squid. It's "...screenplay may well have been written in collaboration with a Cuisinart!" -- HA! Delightful and delicious."
Dynamic Euro-Horror Twinbill in Gorgeous Prints.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 09/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally a decent DVD version of one of my favorite Euro-Horror films is cause for rejoicing. TORTURE CHAMBER (not the original title which is THE SNAKE PIT AND THE PENDULUM) is a German made film from 1967 by Krimi specialist Harald Reinl. It has outstanding camerawork and some outrageous set pieces. Think of Poe's PIT AND THE PENDULUM reimagined as a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm or as a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. The movie opens with a remarkable tracking shot that follows Christopher Lee as he is led down a series of corridors on his way to be executed. He is to be quartered and this sequence is well staged in the historic town of Rothenburg. Move forward 35 years when two descendants of the people responsible for his death (Lex Barker and Karin Dor) are summoned to a castle where they are summarily imprisoned and tortured as a resurrected Lee and his servant (Karl Lange) need Dor's blood to attain immortality. Several images linger in the mind from the forest of limbs to the Hieronymous Bosch room. The wall of skulls and the flesh eating vultures are another nice touch that you don't run across every day. Totally surreal to say the least. The one drawback, as noted in other reviews, is the soundtrack which uses German muzak for the carriage scenes. Mildly annoying but that helps to date the film and is not without its own peculiar charm.
The second film on the DVD, DEATH SMILES ON A MURDERER, was made in 1973 and shows the changes that had taken place in this genre in just a few years. While still a period piece, it incorporates elements from the Italian Giallo films which had come to prominence. More graphic violence is shown and nudity and sex scenes are added to spice up the proceedings. Once again we have a film in which Klaus Kinski's voice is dubbed along with the others (none of them very well) and we get a chance to see what happened to Swedish actress Ewa Aulin after her one brief stab at fame in CANDY. As a period piece DEATH SMILES looks seriously modern which is not to my taste but there's no denying the film's effectiveness. Hats off to Legend House for giving us the twin bill which enables us to enjoy and compare and pick our favorite. Despite what I have read in some of the other reviews, I found the picture quality on this disc to be outstanding. Both films are presented in widescreen format and feature recreated titles which is not surprising when you consider how often this drive-in fare was served up under several different guises. In fact there is an amusing short piece EURO TRASH MANIA which tells us all about it. The DVD even comes with commentary for the two films (they were done in someone's home and you can hear an ice cream truck in the background)."