Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tales that Witness Madness

Tales that Witness Madness
Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring Kim Novak, Georgia Brown, Joan Collins, Jack Hawkins, Suzy Kendall, Donald Pleasence
90 minutes

Professor Tremayne (played by Donald Pleasence) has been working on four of his toughest psychiatrist cases and he may just have had a breakthrough with these dang loonies. In the first case, a young boy named Paul (Russell Lewis) with crappy parents depends on his imaginary tiger for companionship. Or perhaps, his pet tiger isn’t imaginary after all. In the second case, Timothy (Peter McEnery), an antiques dealer, discovers an old portrait in his deceased aunt’s possessions named “Uncle Albert”. The portrait has the power to transport Timothy into the past. In the third case, Brian (Michael Jayston) brings home an old tree stump that he thinks will look good in the living room. His wife Bella (Joan Collins) suddenly finds herself competing for her husband’s affections. The final case involves a man who uses black magic and a cannibal rite to attain great spiritual powers for he and his voodoo princess mother.

I am not a big fan of anthology films but I have to admit that Tales that Witness Madness is rather good. Freddie Francis (The Creeping Flesh, Paranoiac) directs this kooky collection of horror tales. The first story is very obvious but satisfying. The second story is pretty awful. Suzy Kendall is as shrill and as ludicrous as always and the melodramatic script plays into her talents. The lovely and always sassy Joan Collins livens up the third segment which is just plain bizarre anyway. Another classy member of the cast is Kim Novak, the hostess of the party in the final story. She is very odd in this movie, playing things very shaky and nutty (probably not on purpose). The wraparound bits are a little weak but Pleasence is very good (as usual) and I love the white, sterile hallways of the asylum.

"Did Mozart have to deal with this shit?"

Sharon Stone?

"Richard? Richard? Come to bed, Richard!"

"It won't help if I explain it to you."


  1. Would you say it's on par with Francis' Tales from the Crypt? That is my second favorite anthology film after Creepshow, so if it IS as good as all that, I'm going to make it a point to watch it sooner rather than later! Also, have you seen Asylum? That's another good one.

  2. @Ryan - No, I wouldn't say that. Tales that Witness Madness is worth checking out but it definitely isn't as good as Crypt. And I have seen Asylum. That's a fun one.