Tower of Terror on Blu-ray and DVD

Monday, 23 March 2015 08:46 Written by 

Tower of Terror - out now on Blu-ray and DVDSet during World War II, the fabulously-titled "Tower of Terror" centres on a claustrophobic lighthouse just off the German coastline. Westerrode Lighthouse is manned by Wolfe Kristan (Wilfrid Lawson - "Pygmalion"), a gruff loner with a short temper and a mad, haunted look in his eyes. Kristan lost his wife Marte at sea many years ago and is convinced it is a sign from God when he fishes another woman out of the sea.

The lady in question is Marie (Movita from Charles Laughton's "Mutiny on the Bounty"), on the run from the German authorities having escaped from a concentration camp. Into this uncomfortable arrangement comes Tony (Michael Rennie - 1951's "The Day the Earth Stood Still"), a dashing British agent smuggling top-secret photographs. Tony impersonates the replacement lighthouse assistant as he lies low to evade the Nazis hot on his heels.

Part war film, part crazy Hammer-esque horror, this movie is a strange piece that unsettles and amuses in equal measure. There is some intentional comedy but sometimes it is the wild behaviour of Kristan than entertains more, not always for the right reasons. Lawson is magnetic in the starring role, a deadly metal hook in the place of his right hand and a moustache that seems too heavy to twirl, but he gives it a damn good go.

Rennie is a bit wooden but his physical stature helps to inject some weight into his performance. Movita is fine as Marie; her character is perhaps a little naive but has few options when she is at the mercy of Kristan on the lighthouse's isolated, rocky outcrop.

The tension really kicks in towards the end of the movie as the creepy Kristan becomes ever more unhinged and the authorities close in. A slightly odd decision on behalf of the German navy threatens to make a mockery of the entire enterprise, but this stumble will not deter fans of Gothic horror films from lapping this up.

The only special feature is a photo gallery. The picture quality of the main feature is very detailed on the Blu-ray format reviewed, though there are a few occasions when the picture loses definition for a few seconds, and spots or streaks of noise regularly flash up but do nothing to disrupt the film. The sound is not of the same standard but it is sufficient.

“Tower of Terror” (1941) is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Network. The main feature has a running time of 75 minutes approx, carries a 'PG' certificate and retails for £9.99 on DVD and £14.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Monday, 23 March 2015 08:51

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