Tomb of Torture (1963)
When I noticed this Euro thriller DVD selling on Amazon Canada for a whopping $376 plus shipping, I thought it was time to rewatch my own copy of the same Image Entertainment issue release during the year 2000. It’s been a good ten years since I’d seen it so why not have another look to see if it’s worth every penny.
This dubbed Italian effort begins as many classic shockers do, on location at a castle. Two young women ( of course ) venture into the long shadowy hallways only to find themselves lost and turned around. First they encounter a witch like woman in black who tells them to get out and secondly and sadly for them, they run square into an Igor like character with a paper mache face. After a good scream and faint, the two girls are next seen in the catacombs of the castle where one can find the tools of torture. Our oversized madman is seen rolling one dead body off of a table and bringing the other screaming, terrified girl to the chains and certain death.
Cut to the police finding the bodies in the wooded countryside.
Into the story line comes Anna (Annie Alberti). She is returning with her father to their homeland where she is instantly thought to be the spitting image of the former Countess of the castle. A Countess who was murdered by a method that we shall soon see in a nightmare flashback that plagues Anna. A tale of reincarnation is upon us.
A romantic interest is called for which brings us to George (Marco Mariani) turning up as a local reporter. He hopes to solve the castle mystery but first dabbles in some flirting with lovely Anna. Thanks to some nifty dubbing, she explains she’s bored and looking for new experiences…….. cut to the twosome rolling out of bed after an obvious session of lovemaking and discussing marriage. Gotta love clips like these. Still we have a mystery to solve first leading our intrepid reporter back to the castle and running head first into our very own Italian Igor with a taste for torture.
We’ll be sure to see the local Count, the witch in black with George and Anna converge to unveil the mystery and see who exactly wields power over our oxen like Igor as the film’s 88 minute running time comes to a close. I must say it’s never boring and thanks to that dubbing, it even elicits a few chuckles.
Clips like when the local police inspector questions Anna’s Doctor/Father about his whereabouts, her Father quickly turns the tables telling the officer to stick out his tongue. It looks coated and before he briskly walks away suggests a good enema should cure that. No fooling. I have to wonder if that was really the topic in the original language version.
Euro thrillers of this era can offer some great “B” film fun with plenty of spooky atmosphere. They’re really a genre unto themselves. Though I have only seen a small percentage, I’m always eager to see new to me titles. For the uninitiated, look into the films of Barbara Steele and Christopher Lee’s adventures in Italy as well in films like Bava’s superior The Whip and the Body.
As for Tomb of Torture? Enjoyable but I have to be honest here. Should you wish to offer me anywhere near the Amazon pricing for my copy I’ll have to take it. It’s not that I like parting with any film from my extensive collection but, 300 plus dollars could buy me a lot more titles to stock the shelves in my film library. Maybe even some more of these Italian horrors I’ve yet to locate of which there are plenty.