Tormented (1960)

tormented poster 1960 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Fun schlock


Movie Info

Movie Name:  Tormented

Studio:  Cheviot Productions

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  September 22, 1960

MPAA Rating:  Unrated

tormented lighthouse vi mason juli reding murdered

Tom…you’re a pretty crappy boyfriend

Tom Stewart (Richard Carlson) is a man with a girlfriend named Vi Mason (Juli Reding) and a fiancée named Meg Hubbard (Lugene Sanders). When Vi refuses to break off their relationship, a tragic accident has Tom covering up her death, but Vi is not finished with Tom who she blames for her murder. Vi is haunting Tom, and Tom seems to be the only one who sees and hears her. As Vi threatens to expose Tom’s infidelity, Tom must find a way to free himself from his conscience…at any cost.

Directed by Bert I. Gordon (who wrote the script with George Worthing Yates), Tormented is a supernatural B-Movie. The movie was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K #0514).

tormented vi mason juli reding head tom stuart killed me

I’m the Tell-Tale Head

Tormented was part of a multi-movie pack. While the movie is rather goofy, the concepts and plot work in a classic style. Tormented isn’t a great movie, but it also isn’t the worst movie you’ll ever see.

Tormented is a play on the classic 1843 Edgar Alan Poe story “A Tell-Tale Heart”. Tom is haunted by voices and guilt. No one can see Vi, but Tom begins to act more and more erratic. This leads to a showdown with a beatnik named Nick (played by Joe Turkel) who is so over the top. The ending has Tom so corrupt that he could murder a child…which seems even out of context for the character.

Richard Carlson is the murderer wavering near madness and is a rather generic lead. Lugene Sanders plays the “good girl” and like Carlson is rather generic. Juli Reding at least has fun as the disembodied Vi and as mentioned Joe Turkel’s slang-talking character goes beyond being a cliché. The director’s daughter Susan Gordon gives a nice child performance as Sandy Hubbard.

tormented susan gordon richard carlson

Who could kill a child? Apparently Tom

The movie is obviously low budget, but it does have some fun with what it has. The wedding scene alone with the Dutch angle shots, melodramatic music, and wilting roses is worth checking out. The movie also gets a lot of mileage out of the floating head/hands/body of Juli Reding.

Tormented is a simple movie with a classic ghost story plot. The movie goes a bit too hard on making Tom mad (and he wasn’t that likable to begin with). The film is low-budget, but it does manage to reach so-bad-it-is-good…but that label doesn’t quite work either since it is average to begin with. It is the type of film you know it isn’t going to end well, but it is worth still checking out for the short viewing time if you are a fan of these schlocky type films.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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