Horror on the Lens: Tormented (dir by Bert I. Gordon)


Halloween is the perfect time for a good ghost story and, with that in mind, here is today’s movie.

Released in 1960 and directed by Bert I. Gordon, Tormented tells the sad story of Tom Stewart (Richard Carlson).  Now, Tom might look like a pretty regular guy but we know that he’s a little bit crazy because he’s a jazz pianist and you know how dangerous those beatnik-types are.  Tom is happily engaged to Meg but one day, his ex-girlfriend Vi shows up.  Vi is obsessed with Tom and swear that she’s going to end his engagement.

So, naturally enough, Tom throws her off of a lighthouse.

Problem solved, right?

Not quite.  Vi may be dead but she’s not out of Tom’s life.  Instead, her disembodied head tends to pop up at random moments and taunt Tom.  Meanwhile, Tom is having to deal with Meg’s suspicious sister and a beatnik (Joe Turkel, who years later played Lloyd the Bartender in The Shining) who is determined to collect the $5 that he claims Vi owes him.

Between the beatniks and the raging ocean and the disembodied head popping up whenever it’s least convenient, Tormented is a lot of fun and the perfect film for some retro Halloween fun.

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