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Tower of Evil (1972) - Blu-ray Review

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Tower of Evil (1972) - Blu-ray Review

In the years before the slasher subgenre officially arrived thanks to Black Christmas and Halloween, there were a few horror films that definitely played around with the idea of a psycho killer taking out teenagers with nothing but sex on their minds.   Tower of Evil, a 1972 British horror film that is known by many titles (Horror on Snape Island, Beyond the Fog) is one of those releases.  Here, thanks to its moisture-trapped setting, we have a truly expressive screamfest of a flick.

"Tower of Evil has plenty of this low-key charm throughout the film, making its release on blu-ray one for the collector’s out there."


Starring Bryant Halliday, Jill Haworth, Mark Edwards, Anna Palk, Jack Watson, Derek Fowlds, William Lucas, Anthony Valentine, Dennis Price, George Coulouris, Candace Glendenning, Gary Hamilton, this Shepperton Studio-shot film has a staying power that I am sure annoys many critics.  The film, upon its initial release, was hammered to death for being a total waste of 90-minutes.  Indeed, the film – about a series of murders at a light house – does lag a bit in its rollout but, thanks to a solid mystery involving a Phoenician backstory, this horror film gets a passing grade, especially now with this new 2018 scan of the film’s original interpositive! 

And it begins with a double murder that gets things started off on the right foot.  Thanks to Scorpion Releasing’s remastering and color corrections, the film, low-key in its mystery but rather explicit with its brutality, looks absolutely stunning.  And that sequence, the first kill, involving the murder of a sailor upon his arrival by a nubile young lady, is still a shocking slice of cinematic slaughter.  

 

And it has much to do with its standout setting.  Forget the whiny actors and actress for a minute while they try to get in each other’s pants and out of their own, especially the team of archeologists and their wives, for one moment.  Yes, this is a psychosexual joint, but it’s the kills that keeps this one afloat.  The nudity is strong with this title, but it comes in second  due to the skill on display from Desmond Dickinson, the film’s cinematographer, who time and time again, nails the atmospheric tone of this gem. 

And that rare Phoenician treasure at the heart of the island definitely helps matters, too. Tower of Evil (1972) - Blu-ray Review

While filmed on a micro-budget, Tower of Evil gets a lot of its staying power from its atmospheric cinematography.  That opening shot of the lighthouse – an obvious model (as the credits appear beside it) – surrounded by a heavy bank of fog is a classic example of just how effective the right eye can be for the look, the tone, and the feel of a movie can be. 

Tower of Evil has plenty of this low-key charm throughout the film, making its release on blu-ray one for the collector’s out there.  If that’s not enough, there is always the sex (and nudity from both men and women) as every male character seems to carry a chubbie for every female and, on a remote island, that makes for quite an awkward scene when affairs are discovered.  No wonder they people are so quick to pass judgement on each other.  I mean, they ARE the only ones on the island, right?

Wrong.  And what lays in waiting for them is not about to surrender anytime soon.  Tower of Evil, an exploitative potboiler, is now available on blu-ray.

3 beers

Tower of Evil (1972) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
89 mins
Director
: Jim O'Connolly
Writer:
Jim O'Connolly
Cast:
Bryant Haliday, Jill Haworth, Mark Edwards
Genre
: Horror | Mystery
Tagline:
A Night of Pleasure Becomes a Night of Terror.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Fanfare Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 26, 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 6, 2013
Synopsis: The terror begins when a nude, crazed woman slaughters a sailor who visits the island. When she is taken back to civilization and an ancient relic is discovered, an expedition is mounted to solve the mystery of the island which leads to a series of psycho-sexual murders.

Tower of Evil (1972) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- August 6, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

The new 2018 scan of the original interpositive features hours of color corrections, restored audio, and bright colors.  The film has never looked and sounded better than with this release. The 1080p transfer is all sorts of saturated and pristine as the forest – whether at night or in natural light – comes to life in front of our eyes. The black tones are impeccable and the shadows show some differences; the film looks and sounds pretty solid. It is filled with fine grain textures as a few pops appear here and there. Overall, this is as satisfying brand new HD widescreen (in 1.78:1) master from Scorpion Releasing.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans (or the curious) get an informative audio commentary with producer Richard Gordan.  It is moderated by Tom Weaver.

Special Features:

Loaded with new on-camera interviews from a cast member and two crew members, Scorpion Releasing also gives fans a Blu-ray that includes a slipcover and 9x11 poster with new artwork by "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien.

  • Seretta Wilson Interview
  • Composer Kenneth V. Jones Interview
  • Editor Henry Richardson Interview
  • Katarina's Nightmare Theatre Mode
  • Original Trailer

Tower of Evil (1972) - Blu-ray Review

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