16 July 2015

"TORMENTED" (Chilling 20 Movies Pack, #12)


Promotional Title:
Tormented ...by the She-Ghost of Haunted Island!

Alternate Title:
Eye of the Dead

German Titles:
Der Turm der schreienden Frauen / Tormented Terror - Turm der schreienden Frauen

USA, 1960
Director: Bert I. Gordon


Considering its low Imdb rating, its general bad reputation and the fact that it was even parodied by MST3K... well, I thought that this was actually pretty decent, even though it was directed by schlockmeister Bert I. Gordon a.k.a "Mr. B.I.G", better known as the hack behind rubbish like "The Food of the Gods" or "Empire of the Ants".

Based on a script by George Worthing Yates ("Earth vs. The Flying Saucers"), "Tormented" tells the story of a Jazz pianist who "lets a former flame fall to her death" (I love that Imdb description!) from a lighthouse, so he can marry his new girlfriend without any interference or disturbance. Unfortunately, the flame's ghost returns and starts to haunt, to unsettle, to torment him...

It's a cheaply made film, full of really hokey special effects (the "levitating" heads and hands are simply hilarious!) and a few rather silly scenes (the photograph... silly as hell!). The direction is so-so, several scenes are a bit too slow and the story is quite foreseeable - but you know what? Aside from that, I really enjoyed this. It's tense and entertaining, at times even pretty damn scary. The scene where the washed up body "transforms" into seaweed and tang, the scene with the "Tormented"-record, of the whole wedding sequence... holy ghost, creepy shit!

The music is a bit over the top, but camera work and cinematograpy are both gorgeous and fabulously effective (Ernest Laszlo, Oscar for "Ship of Fools") and the cast is quite marvellous: Richard Carlson ("It Came From Outer Space") as the piano player who slowly gets more and more insane, the stunningly beautiful Lugene Sanders (her only feature appearance), the surprisingly terrific child actress Susan Gordon (the director's daughter), and the ever-amazing Joe Turkel ("The Shining", "Blade Runner") as blackmailing ferryman.

Believe me when I say that watching "Tormented" is not a torment!


  1. Another movie that I have probably five or seven times in the video vault thanks to it being believed to be public domain and it being included in scads of cheapie sets. I like it too. It is a little slow, but it does have some good performances and atmosphere. It will never be my favorite B.I.G. flick - that will probably always be Empire of the Ants - but this one is worth watching.

    1. I'm not a total expert when it comes to Mr. B.I.G., but I have to admit that is the one that I like best so far. I definitely liked it better than Ants, Food and Spider.


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