Tower of Evil 1999 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Tower of Evil (Jim O’Connolly, 1972)
Schlockmeister Jim O’Connolly made some of the most endearingly awful films in British cinema history, and oh, my, the casts he was able to assemble for them. Tower of Evil (released under a bevy of names, most commonly in America as Beyond the Fog), for example, boasts a cast including Robin Askwith, Dennis Price, Gary Hamilton, Candace Glendinning, Gary Valentine, Anna Palk, Bryant Haliday, and oh, yes, Jill Haworth, the only thing that makes half the films she’s in worth watching. And no, not because she’s the world’s finest actress. (If these names don’t sound familiar, watch yourself more bad post-Hammer British horror films; a decent number of folks here, both cast and crew, would reunite the next year for the kitsch classic Horror Hospital, an absolute must-see.)
I’m not entirely sure I followed the plot here, but if I got it right: a bunch of randy Americans go to an island off the coast of England in order to get naked, smoke pot, and have gratuitous sex. (I already love this island.) Unfortunately, they’re killed off one by one, save the Final Girl (this may be the first instance of the Final Girl, actually; I’ll have to do more research on that…), who is discovered by fishermen and brought to a hospital, where she is hypnotized in some of the film’s most memorable scenes (oh, the flashing lights!) and forced to recount the story of what happened there. Intercut with this are scenes from what happened afterwards—once the scientists find out that the murder weapon is an ancient sword, a team of archaeologists, including the gorgeous Haworth, are dispatched to the island to see if they can recover it. Needless to say, bodies start piling up again.
You have to be a connoisseur of really, really bad (not to mention unscary) horror movies to appreciate the work of guys like O’Connolly. The special effects are hysterical, the sets almost as bad. The acting, camerawork, and script (adapted by O’Connolly from a George Baxt novel I have not been able to track down yet) are all horrendous. But it has a certain charm that seems to stem from it being better than, say, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats while not managing to be anywhere near as good as even the most meager offerings from Hammer. If you’re looking for dumb, funny horror movies, stick this on a double bill with Horror Hospital and watch your friends gape in awe. **