Tower of Evil (1972)
By: David Michael Brown on January 17, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.77:1 (Non-anamorphic). English, DD 2.0. 89 minutes
The Movie
Director: Jim O' Connolly
Starring: Haliday, Jill Haworth, Anna Palk, Robin Aswith
Screenplay: Jim O' Connolly
Country: UK
Kicking off with a sinister and moody trip to the mysterious Lighthouse of the films title, Tower of Evil is a surprisingly graphic story, partly told in flashback, of a group of kids who are slaughtered by a machete-wielding maniac.

Based on Snape Island, the lighthouse is later visited by a group of archaeologists led by a private investigator intent on discovering the eerie truth about the mass murders. They soon become victims themselves as they discover that the Island is riddled with underground tunnels that have become the home of a deranged lunatic.

Starring a group of faceless Seventies nobodies the only star on show is that perennial exploitation star Robin Askwith. The film is more in keeping with his showing in Horror Hospital than the Confessions series but strangely he has been dubbed with an American accent in Tower of Evil. All the characters are clichés and think nothing of wondering down the dark sinister caves on their own but the atmospheric photography does manage to draw out some tension. The script, what there is of it, is lacklustre at best but on the whole the film, despite its deficiencies, does exude a cheesy British lowbrow charm. The winning combination of sex and violence works wonders yet again.

The scenes of carnage, as mentioned, are amazingly savage and manage to unsettle the viewer right from the start. Limbs are lopped off, severed heads roll down stairs, blood flows all over the place. The walls of the caves run red as the subterranean madman wreaks his revenge and it's these scenes that are best handled by director Jim O' Connelly. His resume also includes the fantastic Valley of Gwangi and Beserk aka. Circus of Terror but he only went on to make one more film after Tower of Evil, the little seen Mistress Pamela.
The quality is best described as adequate. The transfer is fairly sharp and clear but the colour scheme is a bit flat and dull.
English Doldy Digital 2.0. Nothing spectacular to report.
Extra Features
All you get is the theatrical trailer.
The Verdict
What this bare bones disc lacks in quality and extras it more than makes up for with this rarely scene Brit horror flick. Gory, action packed and suitably saucy; Tower of Evil comes from that golden era of British cinema when Amicus, Hammer and Tigon were producing horror films by the blood filled bucket load.
Movie Score
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