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The Fear Chamber (1968)

Boris Karloff , Julissa , Jack Hill , Juan Ibáñez  |  NR |  DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Julissa, Carlos East, Isela Vega, Yerye Beirute
  • Directors: Jack Hill, Juan Ibáñez
  • Writers: Jack Hill, Luis Enrique Vergara
  • Producers: Luis Enrique Vergara
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Retro Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2001
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005M2D3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,486 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fear Chamber" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Lurid but not scary, awful but not bad enough to be good, Fear Chamber is unredeemed even by a late career performance by Boris Karloff, in what has to be the worst and most embarrassing movie of his career. Karloff, who was in his eighties at the time, plays Dr. Carl Mandel, a scientist whose assistants go deep into the Earth's core, where they discover some sort of magic rock ("pure crystallized intelligence," they call it) that the doc believes may be "the source of… the ultimate secrets of the universe." But there's a catch: the rock subsists on hormones that can only be produced by humans in a state of extreme terror. Enter the "fear chamber," in which beautiful young girls (all foreigners, so no one will miss 'em) are scared witless (after they strip down to bra and panties, of course) by way of an elaborate charade involving a spooky dungeon filled with bubbling cauldrons, horrid creepy-crawlies, and such. So far, so bad; but when the rock starts seeking out its own victims and messing with the doc's computers, things really go downhill fast. Not that there's very far to go. Filmed in Mexico in 1968 (producer Luis Vergara made three other movies at the same time) but not released until '72, Fear Chamber boasts cheesy sets, laughable special effects, appalling acting, stilted dialogue, ham-fisted editing, poor cinematography… and those are its better points. DVD extras include commentary by writer-director Jack Hill, who's got a lot to answer for. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clap trap that turned into a masterpiece February 13, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie late at night when I was young and it thrilled me and tittillated me. Even though I was young, I knew that this was low budget and thought it a joke. Only years later did I realize the absolute treasure that it is. It fits into the genre of "So bad its good". I really recommened this movie for a late late Saturday night. Just as I viewed when I was young It has contrived gratuitous devises in it such as the stripper that is eaten by the monster that make this a unique and twisted thriller. 5 stars!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Karloff Fans Should Avoid This Turkey January 28, 2008
The infamous Mexican horror movies that ended Boris Karloff's career remain among his worst. Filmed in 1968 but released a few years after the veteran actor's death, "The Fear Chamber" is truly wretched cinema and painful to sit through. Regardless of the financial rewards, dear Boris should have stayed home and not subjected himself to this exploitation fodder.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's pretty wild to think Boris Karloff had a career in film spanning nearly 60 years, even appearing in films after his demise in 1969, his last four films all being primarily Mexican productions, released in the states in the early 1970s. I haven't had a chance to see them all, but I did get to watch this one, titled The Fear Chamber (1968) aka La Cámara del terror aka The Torture Chamber, last night, and it was actually better than I thought it would by Jack Hill (Spider Baby) and Juan Ibáñez (House of Evil), the film features, as I mentioned, Boris Karloff, along with Julissa (Isle of the Snake People), Carlos East (Tintorera), and Isela Vega (The Mushroom Eater). Also appearing is Yerye Beirute (The Incredible Invasion) and the diminutive (in stature only) Santanón (Isle of the Snake People).

Karloff plays Dr. Carl Mandel, an elderly scientist consumed with the cosmic secrets that may be hidden beneath the Earth, so much so he sends his daughter Corinne (Julissa) and assistant Mark (East) to explore some caves near an active volcano. They find what appears to be a living rock containing `pure crystallized intelligence' (it actually looks like a reject from a Sid and Marty Krofft production), and bring it back to Mandel's laboratory/discothèque (okay, it's not really a disco, but it is groovy), and hook it up to a battery of computers, enabling them to communicate with their subterranean find.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Minor Karloff Vehicle April 8, 2003
By A Customer
Dr. Carl Mantel (played by Boris Karloff), an American resident in Mexico, is the world�s foremost geo-biologist. He has developed a theory that rock-based forms of life may have developed near the Earth�s core and may have been displaced closer to the surface over time. After recording puzzling electronic emanations from a cave complex near an active volcano, Dr. Mantel dispatches his daughter, Corinne, and his research assistant, Mark, to investigate. Corinne and Mark discover what appears to be a rock formation imbued with interior life.
Several months later: Luisa Martinez, a woman lodging at the Beneficent Foundation for Young Girls, wakes up to find that her bed has been transported to an eerie underground region, full of snakes and spiders and leering maniacs. She attempts to flee, only to stumble upon a black magic ritual, during which the head of the coven sacrifices a girl to Satan. The coven leader is Dr. Mantel, and the other members of the group include Corinne, Mark, and Helga, another one of the doctor�s assistants. Then Luisa is captured and brought to the altar. As the knife descends, she faints. . . .
And the Satanists strip off their robes to don surgical gowns! They quickly take the unconscious Luisa to an adjacent operating room, where they drain much of her blood. It seems the rock-thing requires certain human hormones to survive�hormones that are secreted only in a state of extreme terror. So Helga has created a psychodrama to induce fear, with victims chosen from the girls at the phony Beneficent Foundation.
Luisia is released the next morning, believing that her experiences in the Fear Chamber were simply part of a nightmare.
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