The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

Director Harald Reinl spent most of his career making adaptations of the Karl May and Edgar Wallace books but managed to turn out The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel) starring Christopher Lee, Lex Baxter (yep, Tarzan) and Natalie Wood look-a-like Karin Dor. The story is based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum. Poe's tale takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. The narrator of the story is charged for an unnamed crime, then locked in a dungeon where implements of doom force him closer to a large, deep pit in the floor which will send him falling to his death.

There's tons of Gothic-kitsch torture traps in Dr. Sadism, along with a pistol carrying priest, hilarious effects (green blood!), a psychadelic creature mural and a soudtrack that resembles some kind of 60's swing-pop/lounge music which is completely out of place but entertaining. In the movie's start we meet Count Regula (Christopher Lee) who has been found guilty of torturing and murdering 12 women in his far away castle. He's sentenced to be quartered, fitted with a spiky mask and then torn apart by horsies in the town square. Fast forward to present day and Count Regula's story has become the equivalent of a carny sideshow act but most of the townsfolk are terrified at the mere sound of his name. Leading lovelies Roger von Marienberg (Lex Baxter) and Baroness Lilian von Brabant (Karin Dor) are mysteriously lured to the Count's castle on the hill where they soon learn why they were selected for sadistic torture and mayhem.
categories Features, Reviews, Horror