Torture Garden (1967)

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Dr. Diabolo gives five guests the chance to see their future.


Horror, Anthology

Horror, Supernatural


Dr. Diabolo - Burgess Meredith

Gordon Roberts - Michael Ripper

Atropos - Clytie Jessop

Carnival Barker - Timothy Bateson


Colin Williams - Michael Bryant

Nurse Parker - Catherine Finn

Uncle Roger - Maurice Denham

Dr. Silversmith - Niall MacGinnis

Sergeant - Roy Stevens

Constable - Norman Claridge

Tramp - Barry Low


Terror Over Hollywood

Carla Hayes - Beverly Adams

Bruce Benton - Robert Hutton

Eddie Storm - John Phillips

Dr. Heim - Bernard Kay

Mike Charles - David Bauer

Millie - Nicole Shelby

Fred - James Copeland

Mr. Steinway

Leo Winston - John Standing

Miss Chambers - Ursula Howells

Dorothy Endicott - Barbara Ewing


The Man Who Collected Poe

Ronald Wyatt - Jack Palance

Lancelot Canning - Peter Cushing

Edgar Allen Poe - Geoffrey Wallace

Antique Collector - Roy Godfrey

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

At a carnival, a Carnival Barker invites the public to see the Torture Garden for half a crown. Inside, Dr. Diabolo performs his torture show where he shows off different torture devices. He shows them the electric chair and says the man sitting within it is deserving of his fate. Dr. Diabolo pulls the switch and seemingly kills the man sitting within. He invites the people at the show to see his real Torture Garden for five pounds. Gordon Roberts, Colin Williams, Carla Hayes, Dorothy Endicott, and Ronald Wyatt pay the money and Dr. Diabolo drops all of their money into a fire. He introduces them to a waxwork figure he calls Atropos. He says that Atropos can reveal to each of them their own inner evil. He continues that by showing them their future, they may be able to avoid it. Colin is the first to walk up to Atropos...


Colin drives up to Uncle Roger's house and at first it appears like Atropos answers the door, but her appearance changes to that of Nurse Parker. She tells him that Roger's heart is weak and he could die at anytime. Colin goes inside and Roger comments on how long it has been since he visited. Colin says he needs some money, but Roger doesn't want to discuss it. Roger urges Colin to get a job and make something of himself and Colin again asks for money. Roger tells him that he doesn't have any money, but Colin remembers how Roger never worked and that the locals say he pays for everything with gold coins and the house he is living in used to be owned by a witch. Colin thinks Roger discovered the witch's gold and starts to grab Roger. Roger starts to have a heart attack and asks Colin to get him his medicine. Colin insists Roger tells him where the gold is, but Roger dies before he tells Colin anything. Roger's body is removed from the house and Dr. Silversmith talks with Colin to get the paperwork in order. Colin starts searching through the house for the gold and finds a trapdoor under Roger's bed. He goes inside it into a hidden basement and finds soft ground and digs up a coffin. Inside the coffin is a headless skeleton and a cat, Balthazar. He covers the coffin back up and falls asleep and is awoken by Balthazar, who psychically tells him that he used to serve Roger. He tells him that he will reward him in return for things Colin must do for him. He says that Roger buried him, but he is now free and hungry. Balthazar runs outside and Colin follows him and finds a Tramp sleeping in the barn. Balthazar orders Colin to kill him and Colin stabs the Tramp to death. Colin wakes up again and thinks it was only a dream, but Balthazar leads him to a place to dig where Colin finds chests full of gold coins and later the headless body of the Tramp. Nurse Parker rides her bicycle to the house and when she comes inside, Colin kills her with the shovel. Colin puts Nurse Parker and the Tramp's bodies in a trunk and as he is about to leave, he is questioned by a Sergeant who finds the trunk full of bodies. Colin is brought to prison and he tells Dr. Silversmith that Balthazar made him do it. Colin begs Dr. Silversmith not to leave him as Balthazar will be hungry. After Dr. Silversmith leaves, Colin sees Balthazar and screams. When Constable checks on him, Balthazar is gone. Colin starts to scream again and the Sergeant runs to his cell and finds Colin's now headless body. Balthazar walks into the Sergeant's office and starts to speak to him psychically.

Atropos cuts Colin's thread and he returns from his trance. The next to walk over to Atropos is Carla...

Terror Over Hollywood

Carla is in her apartment with her roommate Millie, who is late getting ready for her date with Mike Charles. Carla offers to iron her dress while Millie takes a shower, but purposefully burns the dress. Mike comes to the door and Carla tells Millie that she will fix things. Carla tells Mike that Millie has the flu and he invites her to come to dinner with him. They go to Danny's and Carla sees Bruce Benton and Mike recognizes Eddie Storm sitting next to him. Mike and Carla walk over to Bruce and Eddie's table and Carla takes a seat while Mike pulls Eddie away to speak with him. Mike and Eddie start arguing when Eddie tells Mike that the committee voted rejected him. Mike threatens Eddie and then storms off. When Eddie returns to the table, Bruce tells him that he invited Carla to audition for a role in his next film. Mike goes to a bar and starts to get drunk and starts spilling the secrets of the committee to Fred. Fred calls Eddie and tells him what Mike has been telling him. Later, Fred drives Mike and his car into Mike's garage and chloroforms him and leaves the car running. Millie gets the newspaper and tells Carla that Mike is dead. Carla passes her audition and buys Bruce a watch as a present. Bruce recognizes some men on set and goes to speak to them and they take him into their car. Eddie tells Carla to stay away from Bruce and shortly after they hear a gunshot and find Bruce with a gunshot wound to the head. They take him to Sunset Crest Sanatorium and Eddie tells Carla that Dr. Heim told him that Bruce will be okay. Dr. Heim and Eddie tell Carla not to speak about the incident. The next day of film shooting, Bruce is back at work and Eddie tells her that who she saw being shot was a double of Bruce. Carla tells Eddie that she knows that something suspicious is going on. Later, she goes to speak with Bruce and Eddie is told where she is at and tells the person on the other line to send Dr. Heim to Carla's location. Carla confronts Bruce and accidentally scratches Bruce, revealing him to be an android. Eddie and Dr. Heim enter the room and take Carla away and she is turned into an android while a nurse appearing to look like Atropos attends her.

Atropos cuts Carla's thread and Dorothy goes next...

Mr. Steinway

Dorothy goes to Leo Winston's home and meets Miss Chambers who tells her that Leo won't be able to be interviewed for very long due to him needing to practice. After their interview, Dorothy asks Leo more questions about himself and he introduces her to his piano, Euterpe, which was a present from his mother who in a painting looks like Atropos. He plays on Euterpe and tells her that Euterpe will have to get used to her. Dorothy tells Leo that she heard him talking to himself and he tells her that he was talking to Euterpe. Miss Chambers tells Leo that Dorothy is taking him away from practicing too much and he will ruin his career. He tells her that he feels really happy and Euterpe's lid suddenly falls down. Dorothy goes to Leo's house and finds him slumped over Euterpe. She gives him a present of a framed picture of herself and he tells her that Euterpe resents her and thinks she is trying to prevent him from improving himself. They hear a shattering sound and find the glass shattered on the picture she gave him. Dorothy goes to speak to Miss Chambers and tells her to cancel Leo's upcoming tour. Miss Chambers accuses Dorothy of smothering him and accuses her of only liking Leo, because Leo is famous. Dorothy tells her that Leo belongs to her now and leaves. She goes to Leo's house and hears the piano playing and Leo tells her that Euterpe was playing on its own. She tells him that they should go on a vacation and he will have to cancel his tour. She gives him an ultimatum that they either go on vacation together and cancel his tour or she will leave him. Leo goes to pack his suitcase and while Dorothy is in the room with Euterpe it starts to play on its own. It starts playing Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 and pushes Dorothy out of the window.

Atropos cuts Dorothy's thread and Ronald goes next...

The Man Who Collected Poe

Ronald is at a showing of Volumes From Early American Editions of E.A. Poe 1809-1849 from the collection of Lancelot Canning when a woman similar looking to Atropos walks by. Ronald picks up a first edition and another Antique Collector mentions how it would make a great addition to anyone's collection. The Antique Collector introduces him to Lancelot and Ronald asks if he can purchase it, but Lancelot declines his offer. Lancelot then offers Ronald the chance to see his collection if he ever visits Baltimore. Later, Ronald makes a trip to Lancelot's home and Lancelot shows him different Poe related items. They have a toast to the "immortal" Edgar Allen Poe. They continue to drink and Lancelot starts to get drunk. Ronald pulls out his pipe and Lancelot gives Ronald a lighter to use. Lancelot takes Ronald to see his special collection, but first makes him promise not to tell anyone else what he has seen. They go down into a basement and Lancelot shows Ronald unpublished works by Poe. Ronald sees a bejeweled box, but Lancelot drags him away from it. Ronald notices that some of the manuscripts are written on modern paper and thinks Lancelot wrote them. Lancelot tells Ronald that his grandfather made money selling cadavers and got a hold of Poe and kept the remaining dust in the bejeweled box. Ronald opens the box and it is empty and Lancelot tells him that his grandfather was also a student of the occult and he brought Poe back to life. Ronald sees another door and when he tries to open it, Lancelot tries to stop him and Ronald kills him. Ronald opens the door and finds Poe inside and offers to release Poe. Poe tells him that he made a deal with the Devil and only a living soul which replaces his can release him. Poe says that he can also be released by fire, and Ronald offers to release him if he tells him more about the unknown. Ronald frees Poe and as he is trying to leave the basement, it is covered in flames and Poe tells him that he is trapped.

Atropos cuts Ronald's thread. Dr. Diabolo tries to make Gordon go next and Gordon grabs Atropos' scissors and starts stabbing Dr. Diabalo until he falls dead. The others run away and Gordon starts whistling and Dr. Diabolos stands up. Ronald shows himself and Dr. Diabolo figures out that Ronald wants to make a deal with him and Ronald pulls out the same lighter that Lancelot gave him.