CHAMBER OF HORRORS (1966)
Article #650 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-25-2002
Posting Date: 5-20-2003
A strangler escapes the police by cutting off his own hand, and then seeks revenge with a variety of implements that replace his missing hand.
This movie is most famous for using two gimmicks; the Fear Flasher and the Horror Horn. These devices manifest themselves at certain times during the movie to warn the audience to close their eyes so they won’t witness the horrifying scenes that subsequently appear. Well, unless there are more complete prints than the one I’ve seen, there’s precious little during those scenes from which sensitive viewers need shield their eyes; in fact, these gimmicks are particularly useless. What the movie really needs are couple of other gimmicks; the Beer Flasher will start flashing whenever there is ample time for you to run to the refrigerator to get something to drink, and the Snorer Horn will warn you whenever there is a scene that will leave you in grave danger of falling asleep. Unfortunately, these two warning signals would be going off perpetually. Apparently, this was originally made for TV, but was deemed too gruesome to broadcast. I suspect it was a pilot for a tentative series (the final moment of the movie ends with the type of cliffhanger you’d expect from “Lost in Space”) that was padded out to feature length, which is why the movie drags and contains scenes that seem redundant. It gives hints of having been more interesting in concept (proprieters of a wax museum solve real-life mysteries) than it turns out to be in practice; the only time it shows much energy is during a fight scene near the end. This one is primarily for fans of ballyhoo.