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Tales that Witness Madness

UK 1973
produced by
Norman Priggen for World Film Services
directed by Freddie Francis
starring Donald Pleasence, Jack Hawkins, Russell Lewis, Georgia Brown, Donald Houston, Suzy Kendall, Peter McEnery, Joan Collins, Michael Jayston, Kim Novak, Michael Petrovitch, Mary Tamm, Leon Lissek, Leslie Nunnerley, David Wood, Zohra Sehgal, Neil Kennedy, Richard Connaught, Beth Morris, Frank Forsyth
written by Jay Fairbank (= Jennifer Jayne), music by Bernard Ebbinghouse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Psychiatrist Doctor Tremayne (Donald Pleasence) presents his colleague Doctor Nicholas (Jack Hawkins) with four cases he claims to have healed:

  • Young Paul (Russell Lewis) always had a kind of strained relationship to his parents (Georgia Brown, Donald Houston), so he made himself up a tiger as his imaginary friend. Only the tiger was not all that imaginary and eventually killed Paul's parents.
  • Timothy (Peter McEnery) finds himself possessed by a penny-farthing (= a big-wheeled bike of yesteryear) and a portrait of a grand uncle, they take him back in time to yesteryear to become his penny-farthing-riding grand uncle ... until Timothy's girlfriend  (Suzy Kendall) burns both the penny-farthing and the portrait - but is stabbed by the portrait (really) in return.
  • Brian (Michael Jayston) finds a weirdly shaped tree trunk in the forest and brings it home, but his girlfriend Bella (Joan Collins) doesn't like it - so she and the tree trunk start fighting over him ... and the tree trunk wins.
  • Auriol (Kim Novak) wants to throw a Luau (= Hawaiian party) for her Hawaiian client Keemo (Michael Petrovitch), but fails to realize that he might want to use the Luau for his own purposes, a Hawaiian ritual that involves a human sacrifice - Auriol's own daughter (Mary Tamm). And since Auriol is so fascinated by Keemo, she fails to realize until it's much too late.

Doc Tremayne thinks he has made his point, but Doc Nicholas just declares him insane ... until he is attacked and killed by the imaginary tiger from the first story.

 

A rather obvious attempt of production house World Film Services to cash in on rival studio Amicus's line of horror anthologies, copying not only that studio's concept and looks but also employing their house director Freddie Francis. The problem with this film at hand is though that three of the four stories don't make much sense at all, employ surreal elements in very clumsy ways, and are by no means scary or tense or anything. It's only in story number four (the one with the human sacrifice) that the film finally shows some potential, and it's that story that saves it from total insignificance, but it doesn't make it a great movie either and is probably good mainly in comparison to earlier stories.

In all, whoever's into Amicus omnibus movies will probably want to see this as well no matter what, but will probably be disappointed anyways. Everyone else though is adviced do give this one a miss.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD