Tower of Evil

Tower of Evil, also known by the titles Horror on Snape Island and Beyond the Fog in the United States and Horror of Snape Island in Canada, is a 1972 British horror film.[1] The film was shot at Shepperton Studios in Shepperton, Surrey in 1971.[2]

Tower of Evil
Directed byJim O'Connolly
Produced byRichard Gordon
Written byGeorge Baxt (novel)
Jim O'Connolly
StarringBryant Haliday
Jill Haworth
Mark Edwards
Anna Palk
Music byKenneth V. Jones
CinematographyDesmond Dickinson
Edited byHenry Richardson
Release date
19 May 1972 (US release)
Running time
89 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$400,000 est.


The movie opens with a boat cruising through heavy fog, on a spooky night. The boat lands on a rocky island (Snape) and two older seaman go on shore. Soon they find a severed hand with a large spider on it. After they see the male body it was attached too, they decide to go into the lighthouse to investigate. Sure enough, they find a female body with a severed head. They split up and find another murdered body. Then they find a live, young woman, Penny, hiding in a closet. Traumatized to an extreme, she stabs the older of the men who finds her to death. The other man (the captain) of the boat survived. Next, she is being examined by Dr.s who talk about her state of shock and how she and her friends made it to Snape Island. After running tests they try to find out more of what happened. Penny starts to talk and remember how her friends arrived. And then she starts to scream as the flash backs disturb her. After hearing about this, a group of scientists decide to venture to the Island. They also know that the Island is loaded with gold and Phoenician treasures. Eventually, the team of 7 ventures out to sea to investigate the Island, on the Sea Ghost. This is captained by the seaman who survived the opening scene, and 2 women and 4 other men are his crew. They land and immediately start to see strange things, like a lack of sea gulls, other forms of life, and a mystery. No one believes that Penny killed anyone but the old man. They suspect that the island has another inhabitant. As the men empty the boat, the women argue over the men. Jealousy and love triangles are apparent and the head of the expedition(Dr. Simpson) breaks away to look at a stashed away sack. Mean while the captain sees a picture of his brother in the mansion. He explains to the others that his brother, sister in law and their child all died on this God forsaken island. Then the movie cuts back to the main land where the Dr. is hypnotizing Penny. She is seeing the past. The murder of her friends by a large, laughing, bearded, psycho. The disturbing scenes show what really happened to her 3 friends. Penny comes to and scream violently. Back on the island, the team is discussing the island's history when all of a sudden a strange noise can be heard. They all split to see what it is. Two of the team bump into each other. Though the woman is terrified she learns that some of the team members have been to the island before and are keeping that quiet. Afterward they are all shown together. Dr. Simpson decides to check on the boat, or so he says. But before he goes, he says that the 3 young people must have been murdered by a mad man, and he believes the mad man is still on the island. While two people go upstairs to have intercourse, the rest of the men go out to look for the Dr. They find that someone has blow up the boat. The young man having sex with the lovely Nora, runs down to the boat. Nora, alone, wanders and is stalked by the murderer. Before he gets her he sees a decomposing body in a rocker. She screamed and passed out. After the others came running and found Nora and the body they demand answers from their captain. He admits that he has been lying and keeping secrets. He tells of how his sister in law, the corpse, died and how his brother Saul is still there, living in the caves under the house. The madmen has also destroyed their radio. The men decide to go in pairs to find Saul. The women stay inside and talk about the story they have just heard. Though the captain and his search partner have found Saul's cave, Nora's friend Rose, hears a man weeping. She investigates, looking through a wall. She finally sees Saul, rocking the corpse of his dead wife. He hears her and stalks. Instead he makes it into Nora's room. Terrified, she runs to the top of the lighthouse where Saul throws her over, onto the rocks below. Seeing that she is dead, the remaining female and the 2 other men go into cave together. Meanwhile the Dr. who is near a coffin has found the treasure. He hears that strange sound again, like a flute, and peruses it. Then, after he leaves the captain's search partner finds the treasure. As soon as he looks it over, he hears Saul laugh, and the Saul cashes in on him. Shortly after, the remaining 5 meet up in the cave. The Dr. explains that fired his gun at Saul and has been stalking him all night. Then the creepy flute music starts. Rose and Dan, one of the men, stay at the treasure while the captain the Dr. and the other man go looking for Saul. At the treasure Rose is looking at a gold lantern and Saul, from out of nowhere attacks. Dan comes to help, but the large Saul breaks his neck. With all of the screaming the 3 men reappear, and shoot Saul dead. The Dr. later admits that he came to the island before and left a boat and supplies on the other side of the island. The captain stays with Rose and the 2 men left go to get the boat and some of the artifacts. Then Rose and the captain go inside and talk about Saul and his diseased family. The captain says that Martha never wanted his brother Saul to be reported. Then he encouraged her to get some sleep. She decides to wait up and he goes upstairs. Then the captain comes back down bleeding to death. He says the name Michael, Saul's son, and dies. Then the deformed son of Saul, Michael attacks Rose. She throws an oil lamp at him and sets him on fire. As he burns to death the whole house and cave catch on fire as Saul had it rigged to. Rose narrowly escapes and the 2 surviving men get out of the cave to watch the house and it's mad dwellers burn to ashes.[3]


Critical reaction

The film was dismissed as mere exploitation fodder by many critics.[5] Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film a BOMB rating and mockingly said "One of the Horrors of Snape Island is the film itself".[6]

However, over the years, the film has been embraced as something of an underground classic by the horror community. The Terror Trap horror review rated the film positively, calling it "A surprisingly adroit little British slasher, Tower of Evil is a revelatory sleeper.".[7] Elite Entertainment released Tower of Evil on DVD for the first time in 1999.[8] On 12 December 2008, Turner Classic Movies showed the film as part of their late night TCM Underground series.


  1. "Tower of Evil (1972)".
  2. "AFI-Catalog".
  3. New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 11–. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  4. Tom Lisanti (November 2000). Fantasy femmes of sixties cinema: interviews with 20 actresses from biker, beach and Elvis movies. McFarland. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-0-7864-0868-9. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  5. "Tower of Evil (1972) - James P. O'Connolly - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  6. Maltin, Leonard (2 September 2014). "Leonard Maltin's 2015 Movie Guide". Penguin via Google Books.
  7. "Tower of Evil (1972) - The Terror Trap".
  8. "Tower Of Evil DVD Movie".

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