Friday, August 3, 2012

Tomb of Torture (1963)

Ah, the 60's. It was at this time where many a thing was changing in horror. Among them was the rise of Italian horror films. We got many a classic from that era-"Blood and Black Lace", "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage", "Black Sunday" and "Mill of the Stone Woman." Then we got things like today's entry.

Somewhere in Italy, there is a castle where a murdered countess tortured and killed many a person. Anna (Annie Alberti) believes she is a descendent of this woman, and travels there with her father (Adriano Micantoni), and tries to solve the mysterious case surrounding the death of the countess. However, not all is what it seems. Not only is Anna starting to have nightmares, but there seems to be something up with Elizabeth (Flora Carosello), as well as a deformed man/monster living in the basement.

In the first act, "Tomb" is actually fun. The kills aren't gory, but they are strong stuff for the period. There's a mood of Gothic despair looming over the proceedings, which is amplified by the eerie castle. It even feels like the kind of atmospheric horror gems you were getting at the time. Yep, things are pretty good.

Then the plot really kicks in, and it becomes boring. It goes from being an enjoyable Gothic yarn to a talky, plodding mess in an instant. You know, the kind of movie where everyone has to constantly explain what's going on almost all the time, while poor attempts at characterization and next to nothing happens on the screen. It also doesn't help that there's no mystery or suspense on display. You know from the get go whose carrying on the legacy of the countess, so as the movie drags on, there's no reason to care. Granted, it does pick up a little at the end, but by then you'll probably be asleep.

I can't say that I hate this movie, but that's because of the brief promise it shows. At best, it serves as an example of how not every 60's Italian title is worth your time.

Rating: 3.5/10   


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