By Ray Schwetz
Tower of Evil.
Elite Entertainment. Trailer.
A naked woman stabs an old man repeatedly and runs into the foggy night screaming. This is just the way this film opens. From the opening moment, we are treated to atmosphere worthy of a Bava film. The plot is filled with twists and turns, but I will summarize as best I can.
Two couples spend the night on a deserted island fooling around and smoking grass. A mysterious, super strong figure stalks them. Only one girl survives. The rest are butchered horribly. A team of investigators go to the island, while a scientist hypnotizes the traumatized survivor, trying to get her to remember that fateful night.
This film predates the slasher craze of the eighties by just about a decade. The set up is classic stalk and slash. The execution, however, is far above your standard slasher. There are some genuine chills between the gory murders. The film also has copious amounts of gratuitous nudity (almost never a bad thing). On the down side, the film is dated by some hilarious fashions (the worst I've seen since "Exorcist II: The Heretic"), but Euro-horror fans probably won't notice. We're used to it.
Elite does it again with a stellar presentation. The DVD is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which appears to be accurate. It is not anamorphic. However, the colors are rich and vibrant and the picture is sharp. I found it hard to believe that the film is a quarter century old! There are some very minor scratches, but otherwise the print used for this transfer is superb.
The Dolby 2.0 stereo track is passable. The dialogue and music score is clear enough. However, there very little bass for your subwoofer and very little offered in the way of audio seperation. This might as well be a mono soundtrack.
The menus are fairly standard. Elite also includes a trailer, which curiously makes the film look pretty bad. The trailer is in decent shape though.
Horror fans who have not seen this film should give it a look. It has some fairly original story twists, nice camera work, a few decent scares, and great creepy atmosphere. Fans of Mario Bava's films and other Euro-horror will definitely enjoy this film. Elite's transfer is gorgeous and, despite the lack of significant extras, the disc is worth the price for those who enjoy the film.