The Torture Chamber of Dr Sadism

The Countess and Roger in a skull filled corridor

There was a vogue for films like The Torture Chamber of Dr Sadism in the 1960s. Lurid shockers that were little more than a vivid title in search of a good idea – Torture Chamber was often shown in a double bill with Mad Doctor of Blood Island, another prime example. Put another way, what you paid for wasn’t necessarily what you got. There’s not much in the way of a torture chamber in this German horror movie, and absolutely no one in it called Dr Sadism. Instead, at the beginning and end, we meet Christopher Lee playing someone called Count Regula (that’s Regula, not Dracula, you understand), a blood-sucking creature who is … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 14 – The Interrogators

Christopher Lee, Linda Thorson and Cecil Cheng

  Charles Crichton directs and Christopher Lee guest-stars in The Interrogators, so we’re expecting good things of this episode of The Avengers, right? The plot is a good one – writer Richard Harris fleshing out an idea by Brian Clemens – and hinges on army chaps being tested to destruction by an interrogation outfit run by army chap Colonel Mannering (Christopher Lee). But if Mannering is absolutely on the level and on our side, why are there sadistic Chinese soldiers also on the scene, one of them holding the dreaded fly whisk? Of course he’s not on the level. Why hire Christopher Lee otherwise? Rewind a bit and we get a quick run-through … Read more

The Avengers: Series 5, Episode 10 – Never, Never Say Die

Diana Rigg, Patrick Macnee and Christopher Lee

  Christopher Lee! Christopher Lee of Dracula fame, intelligence operations during the Second World War, later a Bond villain, Saruman of Lord of the Rings and a heavy metal artist in his 90s, yes, that’s the man, lumbering about like Frankenstein’s monster (another role) the first time we see him, and shot from below, again Frankenstein-style, by director Robert Day as this episode of The Avengers kicks off with a car accident which renders the guest star dead.   Surely not? Surely so. But this episode isn’t called Never, Never Say Die for no reason, and no sooner has he been pronounced dead by a doctor at the hospital than he rises again, … Read more

The Wicker Man

The wicker man in The Wicker Man

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     21 December     The Southern Solstice Today is the Southern solstice. If you are in the northern hemisphere, it marks the point at which the sun rises least above the horizon. If you are in the southern hemisphere, it is midsummer, longest day of the year. And correspondingly the shortest in the north. Towards the equator the effect is minimal, with day and night length tending to match each other the whole year through. But in London, where I am writing this, it means the sun will come up a handful of minutes after 8am and set … Read more