Reviewed byBoris_GVote: 6/10/10
This is not one of those Amicus anthologies which present unexpectedtwists: three out of the four stories are utterly predictable fromtheir initial set up. But then it's like one of those fairground rides- you see what you're going to get (eg a 25 foot vertical drop), but ifyou're into that sort of thing you can still get a thrill out of theride (the last story in particular is quite unpleasant - watching it islike watching an unavoidable car accident in slow motion). While noneof the acting is quite on the level that you get from Peter Cushing inparticular in anthologies like 'The House that Dripped Blood' or 'Talesfrom the Crypt', it is consistently good (Joan Collins actually beingmore believable than in the silly story she appears in for 'Tales fromthe Crypt'), and Freddie Francis directs these with a good sense ofatmosphere and character. One I wouldn't mind seeing again.
Reviewed byScott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden)Vote: 5/10/10
Dr. Nicholas (Jack Hawkins) arrives at the insane asylum run by theeminent Prof. Tremayne (Donald Pleasence) to hear his absolutelybizarre theories as to how four of his patients ended up there.
The first is young Paul (Russell Lewis), who lived with quarrellingparents Sam and Fay (Donald Houston, Georgia Brown), and who hadconcocted an imaginary friend dubbed Mr. Tiger. Or is he imaginary?
Next is Timothy (Peter McEnery), whose newly acquired penny farthing -it's a sort of bicycle - is able to transport him back in time, allwhile a leering portrait of his uncle Albert (Frank Forsyth) watchesover him.
Then we meet Brian (Michael Jayston), who frustrates his wife Bella(Joan Collins) by bringing home - and falling in love with (I kid younot) - a tree. A creepy looking tree that seems to be named Mel.
Finally, in the tale that takes up most of the movies' running time,the story of Auriol (Kim Novak) is told. She's having to deal with arebellious daughter, Ginny (Mary Tamm) while entertaining a writernamed Kimo (Michael Petrovitch).
Only the fourth tale, "Luau", has any real kick to it. And it's anappreciably twisted tale indeed. But overall, the segments of "TalesThat Witness Madness" are bland and lack style. A shame, given thatdirector / cinematographer Freddie Francis *could* do solid work inthis format. Things get a little too silly a little too often,especially in the sequence with Brian and Bella, and the endings arerather predictable. Certainly this excellent cast of familiar facesdoes some good work; Pleasence is a pleasure to watch as always. Andthe movies' final moments come complete with yet another twist beforethe end credits start rolling.
However, if you're looking for a good horror anthology from thisperiod, check out "Asylum" or "Tales from the Crypt" instead.
Five out of 10.
Reviewed byJoseph BrandoVote: 5/10/10
Although often mistaken for an Amicus Production, (creators of most ofthose terrific portmanteu horror films from the 60's and 70's TalesFrom The Crypt, Vault Of Horror etc...), this is actually not relatedto that production company, however, it was directed by Hammer andAmicus stalwart, Freddie Francis. I like Francis as a director, reallydig Joan Collins and love horror anthology movies in general. But itstill took me 3 separate viewings to finish this one. It was just sodull.
Donald Pleasence is dry and monotonous as usual in the framing segmentas he takes another doctor on a tour of the mental hospital where heworks. He introduces him to four patients, each of whom has a "talethat is supposed to witness madness". These include: a young boy withconstantly bickering parents who creates an imaginary playmate - aferocious lion. A man who receives a penny farthing bicycle that is atime machine. Joan Collins and a rotting piece of tree fighting over aman. And a luau party thrown by a woman who does not realize that herown daughter is the sacrificial guest of honor.
None of the four stories were particularly interesting, the wraparoundwas dry and there was little to no gore (not that that is so importantbut at least it would have provided some entertainment). Don't go outof your way to track this one down. It's pretty bad.
Dr Tremayne is an enigmatic Psychiatrist running a Futuristic asylum housing four very special cases. Visited by colleague Nicholas, Tremayne explains his amazing and controversial theories as to why each of the four patients went mad... cue four distinct tales each with a different set of characters: 'Mr Tiger' tells of Paul, the sensitive and troubled young son of prosperous but constantly bickering and unlovely parents, and the boy's 'imaginary' friend, a tiger. 'Penny Farthing' tells of Timothy, an antique store owner propelled backwards in time by a penny-farthing bicycle in his shop, all the while being watched over by the constantly changing photograph of Uncle Albert, which endangers the lives of both Timothy and his beautiful wife, Ann. 'Mel' tells of Brian, a man who brings home an old dead tree and prominently displays it in his living room as a work of art. His fiery wife Bella soon becomes jealous of the tree, which the husband has lovingly named Mel, and it seems to be ...