Sunday, 2 September 2018

Tower of Evil

Also known as 'Horror on Snape Island' this early 70s horror has been credited as an early example of the slasher genre and certainly most of the elements are there, remote location, horny naked teens, lots of stabbing and slashing and a psychologically damaged murderer with a thing for pointy implements.

The film concerns two groups of teens - one group seen mostly in flashback thanks to some Prisoner-esque hypnosis techniques - who find themselves on the remote and rocky Snape Island, the first group for fun and frolics and the second for an archaeological dig.  Also accompanying the second group is a detective (Bryant Haliday) hired by the parents of the sole survivor of the first (Candace Glendenning) who is borderline catatonic and accused of her friend's murders.

Like the contemporaneous 'Death Line' ('Raw Meat' in the US) the film shows a definite move away from the gothic creature feature trappings of the Hammer productions into areas more concerned with societal changes and the rise of newer lifestyles which, it seems, will be drenched in blood; an idea that would be returned to again and again in films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a seemingly endless procession of Friday the 13th and Halloween movies and exploitation movies galore.  Unlike 'Death Line' though it doesn't have an actor of the calibre of Hugh Armstrong to lend pathos to the murderous maniac.

Despite being derided on it's initial release 'Tower of Evil' has aged remarkably well.  It's definitely a product of it's time and it gleefully engages in some, almost, equal opportunity sexploitation as there are bare boobs and bums - of both genders - galore including that of Robin Askwith who (thanks to the 'Confessions of a...' movies) has a bum that's been photographed more times than most people's faces - even in the age of the selfie. But it's well made and in amongst the campier actors there's a strong cast that includes such notables as Jill Haworth, Jack Watson  (Llud in Arthur of the Britons) Derek Fowlds (Bernard from 'Yes Minister'), Anna Palk ('The Earth Dies Screaming') and Dennis Price ('Twins of Evil') and a storyline that toys with the supernatural without ever fully embracing it leaving just a suspicion of what, perhaps, lies behind the murders.

Buy it here - Tower of Evil - Digitally Remastered [DVD] - or watch it below.

4 comments:

  1. Nice find. It's no 'The Legend of Hell House' (1973) Though!

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  2. I've loved this film since the 70s 'Appointment with Fear' days. I know it's not one of the best from that (or any) period but it has a certain appeal, with its touch on ancient Baal worship etc (theres a barrow called Ball hill near me). I found it last year on dvd and i've already watched it 3 times. Great.

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    Replies
    1. hello M.
      it's got something about it hasn't it.
      It's never going to have widespread appeal but if it get's it's claws in you then you're hooked completely.

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