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Tales That Witness Madness (1973)

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Rating: 5.0/10 128 votes
Runtime: 90 min
Language: English
Country: UK
Color: Color

Director: Freddie Francis
Cast:
Jack Hawkins ... Dr. Nicholas
Donald Pleasence ... Dr. R.C. Tremayne
Georgia Brown ... Fay Patterson (segment "Mr. Tiger")
Donald Houston ... Sam Patterson (segment "Mr. Tiger")
Russell Lewis ... Paul Patterson (segment "Mr. Tiger")
David Wood ... Phillipe, the tutor (segment "Mr. Tiger")
Suzy Kendall ... Ann Patrick / Beatrice
Peter McEnery ... Timothy Patrick / Albert
Neil Kennedy ... 1st Removal Man
Richard Connaught ... 2nd Removal Man
Beth Morris ... Polly
Frank Forsyth ... The Evil Watcher / Uncle Albert
Joan Collins ... Bella Thompson
Michael Jayston ... Brian
Kim Novak ... Auriol Pageant


Description: Essentially a reworking of their earlier omnibus Asylum, this is another anthology of pulp horror tales from Amicus, this one helmed by the ever-reliable Freddie Francis. It features a quartet of eerie vignettes involving four patients in the care of psychiatrist Dr. Tremayne (Donald Pleasence), who is attempting to justify his strange theories to a colleague (Jack Hawkins, who died shortly after his scenes were filmed) by explaining the horrific events that drove the patients to their current state. The first tale centers on a young boy (Russell Lewis), whose parents' constant squabbling prompts him to conjure an imaginary tiger to devour them. The second involves a Victorian-era bicycle which allows its finder (Peter McEnery) to travel back in time and live as his own ancestor. The goofy third chapter pits a jealous wife (Joan Collins) against a strange rival for her husband's attention: a tree possessed by a human soul. The final segment stars Kim Novak (a last-minute replacement for Rita Hayworth) as a literary agent who must sacrifice her own daughter (Mary Tamm) to appease the restless spirit of her client's mother. Although certainly not the studio's best effort, this is still an amusing diversion, featuring the standard twist ending and a flamboyant approach suggestive of EC horror comics.



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