TALES THAT WIT­NESS MAD­NESS Mé­nage à tree

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

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.

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