TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS Ménage à tree
released OUT NOW! 1973 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD
Director Freddie Francis
Cast Donald Pleasence, Peter
McEnery, Joan Collins, Kim Novak
This gruesome British horror is one of the last anthology films from the late ’ 60s/ early ’ 70s to get a UK DVD release. You can see why. Firstly, it’s not from anthology specialists Amicus; secondly, it’s not an outstanding example. It does have its moments, though.
The first segment, about a young boy whose imaginary friend is a tiger, is rather weak. And the final entry, concerning a plot to sacrifice a virgin ( Mary Tamm, later Doctor Who companion Romana) in a Hawaiian ritual, takes forever to get to its queasy cannibalistic conclusion and is sorely missing a twist in the tale.
Sandwiched in- between, however, are two instalments so mindbogglingly barking that they’re hugely entertaining. One concerns a haunted, time- travelling penny farthing. The other sees a husband arousing his wife’s jealousy when he becomes obsessed with a curiously curvaceous tree stump – and is every bit as weirdly perverse as that sounds.
Shame about the framing story – Donald Pleasence as a psychiatrist introducing his patients. It’s too similar to that of 1972 anthology Asylum – and not nearly as effective.
Extras None. Ian Berriman
Writer Jennifer Jayne appeared in an anthology horror, Dr Terror’s House Of Horrors, in 1965 – as a vampire.
New hairdresser Jan had a shaky start.