Something Lurks Within the… – Tower of Evil (1972)


Snape Island is a place where few people voluntarily go.  Bad things happen there, especially as whoever does, tends to die.  Such is the case when some teenagers head there to camp out and when only one of them survives, a team of archeologists is sent to the same island in the hopes of discovering an ancient treasure due to her ramblings and a little research.  Instead of finding an ancient Phoenician treasure though, all that they find is death and not at the hands of an ancient god as is first suspected.

Tower of Evil 16Tower of Evil begins with a mystery and it carries through for most of the film with many a suspicious death.  It is a fun little horror movie packed with suspense that is only broken now and again with a bit of corny dialogue, but on the whole works pretty good with a lot of blood, violence and nudity to carry it through.  More than anything, it is the unexpected that scares you as you have no idea who or what is actually killing everyone.  At first it seems like it could have been a form of possession when the picture first started, some sort of spirit infecting one of the teenagers in order to kill them all, but then as the new group starts dying off, we are shown that it is some sort of man.  Until the last bit of the film, we never really know what this man has to do with anything, until it too is revealed and adds a layer of sympathy over the fright that you might be feeling.

Tower of Evil 20While this happens to be a pretty decent horror movie, there are some unintentional laughs to go along with it.  Some can be blamed on the ineptitude of the latter company who manage to get themselves killed by sheer stupidity, other bits on dialogue and come the end of the movie, set design as the big reveal is quite atrocious.  It was not expected that the film would have something grandiose in mind as you can tell that the budget was not overly large on this movie and it all being shot in essentially a few different rooms of said tower, a bit of ocean, sandy beach and a cave, but if they had gone with something a little less elaborate, the film might have had a far more powerful effect with its ending than it did.  It was not terrible; it was just not especially good.

Jim O’Connolly who wrote and directed this film has to be given some credit for making the picture as good as he did.  Holding off on revealing who was behind the murders for as long as he did really worked in the movie’s favour and the practical effects, putting aside the end bit, were quite good.  The actors which included Bryant Haliday, Jill Haworth and Gary Hamilton were decent and overall, you will find yourself more entertained by this picture than not.  Tower of Evil, also known as Beyond the Fog and Horror on Snape Island in the United States, is a pretty solid B horror and one that could easily be watched again despite its moments of hokiness.

3 out of 5
Tower of Evil 40

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