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Dark Tower – 4

Director – Freddie Francis, Ken Wiederhorn

Cast – Michael Moriarty, Jenny Agutter, Carol Lynley, Theodore Bikel, Kevin McCarthy, Anne Lockhart

Release Year – 1989

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Dark Tower sat on my horror queue for quite some time after I initially added it to the mix due its sweet poster and seeing that it came directed by Freddy Francis, a man who had given the genre a few notable films decades ago. I stayed away from this one as long as I could because I had a good feeling it would suck, and as usual I finally decided to give this a watch late one night when I was having trouble sleeping. Well, the film did not help me sleep one bit, BUT I was glad to get this piece of junk off my queue once and for all.

Jenny Agutter (this film belongs in a gutter)is a famed architect who begins work on a new corporate building, but her work does not go smoothly when mysterious occurrences begin plaguing the skyscraper and those in it.

With a plot that thin I should have known that this would suck, but I am a sucker for supernatural tales so I bit the bullet and left with the results I should have expected. From the get-go we are thrown into the strange occurrences that would continually plague the new building erected by Jenny Agutter, who along with Det. Dennis Randall (Michael Moriarty; The Stuff, Q: The Winged Serpent, Troll, Masters of Horror: “Pick Me Up”) eventually tried desperately to get to the bottom of the mysterious deaths occurring around them. Eventually they learn of a supernatural force residing within the building, and despite the potential for some decent scares this effort was never scary thanks to poor writing and equally poor direction. The story was uninspired from the start and was already on my crap-list by the time its spooky and engaging final sequence kicked in.

Director Freddie Francis (Tales From The Crypt (1972), Girly, The Skull, The Day of the Triffids (uncredited), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, The Doctor and the Devils,  The Creeping Flesh, Tales That Witness Madness) and co-director Ken Wiederhorn did a pathetic job executing this piece, literally giving us nothing when it came to the horror aside from their awesome closing sequence. Their atmosphere was OK, but because of the lack of scares the atmosphere was never used to whatever potential it had. Their execution of nearly every element involved was poor, including their usage of characters despite the great Michael Moriarty cast as one of the leads, making for an experience I really do not wish to write on further.

Overall, Dark Tower is a film that I cannot recommend even as a flick to help you sleep. The writing is poor and the direction is equally bad, a shame for a flick with an enjoyable actor executed by a known horror director.

Rating: 4/10

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