Poor Tom Finds Himself… – Tormented (1960)

Bert I. Gordon and frequent collaborator George Worthing Yates bring to life a story of a man named Tom who is getting married.  A simple enough tale, that is until his ex-girlfriend Vi comes back into the picture and threatens him with blackmail unless he gets back together with her.  But as chance would have it, she falls from the railing of the lighthouse and he does nothing to save her, thus finding himself haunted for the rest of the picture.

tormented13Not exactly the most exciting premise and considering the involvement of Gordon, it does hold a lot of cheese, namely the script and dialogue, but in the end, he does manage to pull it off just as he always does.  That also seems to be the magic of the man known as Mister BIG.  No matter how small a budget or what corners the man cuts with his films, they always tend to turn out all right.  Sure, the acting is sometimes not as good as it could have been, the sets a little plain more often than not and everything else in need of improvement, but when all is said and done, the films are always enjoyable, always entertaining and you never want to turn them off no matter how awful or awfully good you think they are.

Another telltale factor of Gordon’s films would be the always present subpar special effects.  What is most interesting about them though, is that whether he is shrinking or growing someone, they are always effective, cheap or not. In this case, the effects to portray Di’s ghost as well as her disembodied head works well.  Comparing what Gordon used to do in his films to today’s standards are like night and day, and yet his films almost always end up being more moody, more thrilling and even scarier than many of todays.  It is a little strange to say such a thing, but the man had a good eye and feel for filmmaking and though his budgets were small, as it most likely was on this one, you always have a good time watching them.

juli redingRichard Carlson would star as Tom Stewart, the man torn between the living and the dead.  As the script was weak, he did the best he could with it but it still ended up being just a little exaggerated and over the top at times.  The beautiful Juli Reding was the tormenter of the film, dying first thing and then rarely seen afterwards, but always heard throughout the movie.  Usually, the cast outshines the material but in this one instance at least, while they were competent and talented enough, they never seemed to rise above it.

If you should ever have a chance to watch Tormented, then do so.  Just because it is one of Gordon’s weaker films does not mean it is utterly terrible.  Despite its flaws, it does redeem itself much like all of Gordon’s films with a certain kind of charm and entertainment factor that you cannot find in others.  It is not a great film, not by a long shot, but it is not the worst thing you will ever see.

2 out of 5

4 replies »

  1. I have this one! Didn’t think anyone even knew about it lol! I think my copy is on vhs but not sure if I have a dvd of it or not. Great write up. It does have it’s flaws and is not for everyone but it’s fun none the less.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to The Telltale Mind Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.