Review Date: August 29, 2000
Released by: Image Entertainment
Release date: 8/8/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.77:1 | 16x9: No
Image Entertainment has released another title in its continuing series titled, The EuroShock Collection. This time we have Tomb of Torture, an Italian horror film 1963 that was originally titled Metempsycho. Tomb of Torture was retitled and re-dubbed into English by producer Richard Gordon and released in the United States several years later as part of a double bill with Cave of the Living Dead (also available from Image Entertainment). Lets take a look at the DVD.
Two girls decide to explore to mysterious castle where, unbeknownst to them, a hideous madman lurks about. While exploring they come across a picture of Countess Irene (Annie Alberti), who disappeared 20 years ago without a trace. It happened just before her wedding to Raman, who still searches for her to this day. Before the two can continue on in their exploration they are discovered by the castle's owner, Countess Elizabeth (Flora Carosello), and are told to leave immediately. They try only to find that they're locked in. Before they can find a way out they are attacked by the madman and brought into the tomb of torture. The next day the dead bodies of the two girls are discovered on the side of the road.
Dr. Darnell (Adriano Micantoni) and his daughter Anna (Annie Alberti) travel back to their hometown, which is where this mysterious castle is located. It turns out that Anna looks identical to Countess Irene. Not only does she look like her, but she seems to be a reincarnation of the Countess, haunted by images and horrible dreams of what happend to the Countess. Her father hopes to cure her by bringing her back to where the Countess lived and disappeared. They meet up with Raman at the crime scene of the two murdered girls. Raman is shocked at Anna's resemblance to Irene and has to excuse himself. Dr. Darnell and his daughter head off to their new home. Once settled in Anna decides to do a bit of skinny dipping at a nearby pond. As she's doing this George Dickson (Marco Mariani), a newspaper reporter on his way to investigate the murder of the two girls, stops at the pond to get some water for his car. He stumbles into Anna and graciously returns her clothes to her so that she can get herself dressed. The two soon fall in love and plan to marry once Anna is better.
One night Anna sleepwalks her way to the castle and makes her way into the tomb of torture. Here she is questions by an armored figure that drugs her, knocking her unconscious. Anna awakens to discover that she has been chained to the wall. It seems as if her fate is sealed, but there are two men looking for her - George, out of his love for her, and Raman, who hopes Anna can help solve the mysterious disappearance of his Countess Irene. Not only must the two men find their way into the tomb, they must deal with what awaits on the other side in order to save Anna and solve the mystery of Countess Irene.
I was a bit disappointed in Tomb of Torture, mainly because I had some preconceptions regarding the film. I'm sure that happens to all of us and when the film turns out to be different than what you expect you're sometimes disappointed. For one, I expected there to be some good torture scenes. Sadly, there was hardly any torture scenes at all and the few that are there are boring. I like being on the edge of my seat during some serious torturing, hoping that the character can survive, but that just didn't happen here. Also, the madman character was very annoying and not scary at all.
The film does benefit from some decent characters, such as George and Anna, but they weren't enough to make the film enjoyable. There were also a few humorous scenes that I enjoyed, so at least I can say there were some good aspects to the film. But it comes down to, however, is that the movie isn't scary, the story is long and drawn out, even at a run time of 88 minutes and the story isn't very good.
Widescreen transfer. The transfer is far from perfect but I was still impressed with it, given the age and low budget nature of the film. There are a good amount of print blemishes that appear during the film, including scratches, nicks, vertical white lines that fade out, and a good number of white specks. The main problem is the specks, which are fairly consistent throughout the film. A few scenes had slight grain but overall the presentation was grain free. The image is fairly sharp and that's certainly the most impressive part of the transfer. Black and white colors were solid throughout the presentation.
Overall a good transfer. An anamorphic transfer would've been nice, but I suppose a 16x9 enhancement is an added expense that isn't always justifiable for unknown films.
Tomb of Torture is presented in Dolby Digital mono sound. Sound was crisp and clear with no distortion. Only thing I didn't like hearing was the dubbed dialogue, but Tomb isn't unique in that respect - I dislike dubbed dialogue very much. I wish more companies would include subtitles, but I suppose if a dubbed track already exists subtitles are just an added expense. This won't hurt the grade at all, it's just something I wanted to point out.
No supplements are present on the DVD.
Image gives a good audio/video presentation here, but I found the movie to be boring and disappointing. Fans of Italian horror should give this a rental to see if it suits their tastes. For any fans of the film, this DVD won't disappoint on the quality front.
Movie - C
Image Quality - B
Sound - B+
Supplements - N/A
- Running time - 1 hour 28 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- English (dubbed) Dolby Digital mono