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Tower of Evil (Widescreen)

Bryant Haliday , Jill Haworth , Jim O'Connolly    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Right off the bat I'd like to BLOW A VERY LARGE RASPBERRY at a couple of "High Brows" here for POTENTIALLY *BLOWING* the MOVIE'S ENDING for folks interested in purchasing this video! Clear enough? DUHHHHHHHH...
Somewhere between the laughable special effects of the 60's H.G.Lewis comedy gore fests and the "in your face" splatter of Jason Vorhees and the Friday the 13th franchise - this little overlooked GEM (Originally titled The Horror of Snape Island) was born.
Yes, after 30 years or so, it IS dated in look and feel. But then again, so is PSYCHO. However, when you dissect (no pun intended) the plot, actors, effects, budget and action there is still a surprising - and pleasing - amount of gore and mayhem for your viewing dollars!
Whereas the Lewis extravaganzas were "PURE GEEK/bite the head off a chicken" style viewing fare/farce (and a nifty excuse for you and your date to retire to the back seat and make out)- Tower of Evil still actually manages to generate some legitimate shivers and realism. The REAL comparison to Hell Night is the ATMOSPHERE! Those of you who remember seeing the camera open that initial expansive view of the haunted house will undoubtedly remember thinking "THAT is somewhere I would NOT want to BE! PERIOD!"
And so it is with Snape Island. This place *is* fog shrouded, desolate CREEP CITY! I don't know about you, but I've always felt that crabs feeding on dismembered body parts is probably Nature's way of trying to tell me something...
The "plot" has already been reviewed elsewhere, and frankly there ARE some slow spots and not so clever attempts at beating you over the head with clues to the psychopath's identity. But wait! Getting THERE is HALF the FUN!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Trash classic from UK's exploitation heyday April 22 2003
TOWER OF EVIL (UK 1972): A group of archaeologists travel to a lighthouse-island off the coast of England where evidence of ancient treasure has recently been unearthed, alongside the corpses of several American teenagers, all of whom were slaughtered by person or persons unknown. Once on the island, the team becomes isolated from the mainland and is stalked by an elusive 'presence' which picks them off one by one.
A trash classic from the heyday of British exploitation, TOWER OF EVIL was helmed by Jim O'Connolly, a talented journeyman whose career had peaked several years earlier with THE VALLEY OF GWANGI (1968), one of Ray Harryhausen's best films. Thrown together on a microscopic budget, and fashioned by O'Connolly from an early script by novelist George Baxt (responsible for such memorable British thrillers as CIRCUS OF HORRORS, THE CITY OF THE DEAD and NIGHT OF THE EAGLE), 'Tower' hedges its commercial bets by emphasizing a couple of high profile cameos (Dennis Price and Anthony Valentine), and foregrounding liberal doses of self-conscious nudity and gore. The opening scenes - in which crusty sea dogs Jack Watson and George Coulouris visit the titular lighthouse and stumble on a series of mutilated corpses - sets the tone for much of what follows, and while the main cast are pretty colorless, their mutual antagonism (borne from a convoluted history of infidelity, too complicated to explain here) demonstrates a rudimentary attempt at characterisation.
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This film starts off with a BANG by giving us a good premise, excellent atmosphere, good suspense, and a couple of good bloody scenes. But then about half way into the film, it starts to become sluggish, and struggles to keep our interest.
The problem ???? Two fishermen land on a deserted island and find 3 freshly killed bodies amist the grounds of the 'ghostly' lighthouse...They then stumble upon a naked woman, splattered in blood and running through the landscape screaming hysterically with a dagger in her hand. We are then shown a scene in which she is under some heavy psychological testing to try and 'revive' her memory of what happened that night. Flashbacks are used VERY effectivly for these sequences - but she is then left out - half way into the picture !
So all we are left with is a group of about 7 people who travel to the island to investigate the crime scene & look for LOST TREASURE ! WHOOOO-WEEEEE, I just LOVE the 'lost treasure' scriping in films !!! (not to mention the smattering of simulated sex and nudity that is BADLY misplaced in this film).
This movie could have REALLY been something - but it just falls into the same old cleshe about "an insane killer on the loose" plot....Passible - Not really a TERRIBLE movie, but it could have been SO much more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scooby Doo for adults Feb. 6 2001
Okay: (1) The acting *is* wank (except for Dennis Price); (2) the script is hilarious (One classic exchange: "If Penny didn't kill those kids, then who did?" "Someone else, obviously."); and (3) the "twist" ending is absurd (although it predates by one year the strangely similar finale in _Don't Look Now_).
But: This movie is lots of fun. AND it can still generate a couple of screams!! Imagine a live-action, British version of Scooby Doo for adults. This movie is the product of the same time and mindset as the cartoon. It has everything the horror movie fanatic could want: gory murders (even the old severed head rolling down the stairs), secret tunnels, buried treasure, a hint of evil spirits, madness, a monster, sexual intrigue, gratuitous nudity, and lots of creepy atmosphere. That island is the most foreboding piece of land I've ever seen.
Check it out.
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