Discovering films on Blu-ray and DVD

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

aka Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel; The Snake Pit and the Pendulum; The Blood Demon; Blood of the Virgins; Castle of the Walking Dead

  • Year:1967
  • Country of origin: West Germany
  • Genre: Horror, Mystery
  • Director: Harald Reinl
  • Length: 80 min
  • IMDb rating: The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967) on IMDb
Poster of The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

...[Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel] is somewhat short on incident but is otherwise a curiously charming film, owing more to [Mario] Bava’s La maschera del demonio and [Terence] Fisher’s Dracula Prince of Darkness than its supposed source in Edgar Allan Poe. ...Where Die Schlangengrube scores is in its photography and production design, which between them create an extraordinary concentration of Gothic images.

Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema (Signum, 2016)

...Blood Demon offers up horror hokum by the coffinful. In fact, it becomes difficult to take anything seriously in this cinematic Halloween funhouse. That said, its wonderfully macabre set design and several shuddery set pieces make this a tasty piece of ghoulish eye candy.

Mark Clark and Bryan Senn, Sixties Shockers: A Critical Filmography of Horror Cinema, 1960-1969 (McFarland, 2011)

Under any title, The Snake Pit and the Pendulum is a film that succeeds almost entirely on the strength of its imagery. The pendulum scene, while not as terrifying as [Roger] Corman’s [Pit and the Pendulum], is more than sufficient to justify the original title and the nightmarish, colourful imagery will stay with the viewer long after the plot has been forgotten.

Bruce G. Hallenbeck, Poe Pictures: The Film Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe (Tomahawk, 2020)

Selected disc options for The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

Extras
Severin box art
Severin BD-ALL/US 2021
Severin box art
Severin BD-A/US 2019
M-Square box art
M-Square BD-ALL/DE/OOP 2020
M-Square box art
M-Square BD-ALL/DE/OOP 2020
Legend House box art
Legend House DVD-0/US/OOP 2008
EMS box art
EMS DVD-2 PAL/DE/OOP 2005
Audio Commentary by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson has extra
Audio Commentary by Chris D. and Wyatt Doyle has extra
Audio Commentary by Gerd Naumann, Christopher Klaese and Matthias Künnecke has extra has extra
Horror !!! - Vintage Documentary with Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Roger Corman and Roy Ashton (1964, 16:29) has extra
Gore Beat: Euro Trash Title Mania! (18:31) has extra
Location Search in Rothenburg ob der Tauber [M-Square] (In German, 7:40) has extra
Location Search in Rothenburg ob der Tauber [Severin] (In German with English Subtitles, 7:41) has extra
“Cinescope: Christopher Lee” - Vintage TV Interview with Actor Christopher Lee (1976, 54:38) has extra
David Del Valle Interviews Christopher Lee (2021/1985, 27:16) has extra
The Man Behind the Mask: Christopher Lee Remembers Boris Karloff (1991, 35:05) has extra
Monsters & Vampires: The Film Books of Alan Frank - Interview with Author Alan Frank (18:11) has extra
Archival Interview with Actress Karin Dor (In German, 4:01) has extra
Interview Outtakes with Actor Christopher Lee (2001, 19:16) has extra
Q&A with Actor Christopher Lee at University College Dublin (2011, 18:19) has extra
Vintage Interview with Actor Christopher Lee (1975, 16:23) has extra
Audio Interview with Actress Karin Dor [M-Square/EMS] (In German, 2001, 39:55) has extra has extra
Audio Interview with Actress Karin Dor [Severin] - With Image Gallery (In German with English Subtitles, 2001, 25:22) has extra
Alternate US Opening Title Sequence as “Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism” (1:50) has extra
“O Sole Mio / It’s Now or Never” Music Video - With Actor Christopher Lee and Singer Gary Curtis; With Optional Commentary by Gary Curtis (3:52) has extra
“She’ll Fall For Me” Music Video - With Actor Christopher Lee and Singer Gary Curtis; With Optional Commentary by Gary Curtis (4:31) has extra
Restoration Comparison (8:22) has extra has extra
Vintage TV Segment: “Ein Grusical wird gedreht” (A Gothic Film is Being Shot) (In German, 1967, 2:48) has extra has extra
Vintage TV Segment: “Neues vom Film” (News from the Film) (In German, 1967, 4:02) has extra has extra
Vintage UFA Newsreel (In German, 1967, 1:28) has extra
Stills Gallery [EMS] has extra
Stills Gallery [M-Square] - Artwork, Photos (4:42, 3:24) has extra
Stills Gallery [Severin] - Artwork, Photos, Restoration has extra
Biography: Actor Christopher Lee (in German) has extra
Biography: Actor Lex Barker (in German) has extra
Biography: Actress Karin Dor (in German) has extra
Biography: Director Harald Reinl (in German) has extra
German Teaser Trailer (1:11) has extra has extra has extra
German Theatrical Trailer (3:13) has extra has extra has extra has extra
US Theatrical Trailer as “Blood Demon” (1:44) has extra
Super 8 Version as “Das Todespendel - Burg des Grauens” (16:44) has extra has extra has extra
Super 8 Version as “Die Schlangengrube des Grafen Dracula” (16:03) has extra has extra has extra

Notes

  • Severin’s Blu-ray is included in “The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection” box set with Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962), Challenge the Devil (1963), Castle of the Living Dead (1964), Crypt of the Vampire (1964) and Theatre Macabre (1971-1972); and contains a 100-page booklet with writing by Jonathan Rigby (“Christopher Lee: The Continental Connection”).
  • Severin’s 2019 Blu-ray is included in the “Hemisphere Horrors” box set with The Blood Drinkers (1964), The Black Cat (1966), Curse of the Vampires (1966) and Brain of Blood (1971).
  • M-Square’s 2-Disc Mediabook Blu-ray includes a 36-page booklet (in German).
  • M-Square’s 4-Disc Mediabook Blu-ray includes a 36-page booklet (in German) and a soundtrack CD. The Blu-ray has errors (stretching issue, the black level and the Constantin logo) and a replacement disc is available, but it does not correct the wrong pitch of the English audio.
  • Legend House’s DVD also includes Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973).
  • EMS’ DVD includes an 8-page booklet with writing by Mirek Lipinski (in German).

Ultimate Edition

Combine the best digital presentation with a selection of choice extras for the ultimate edition.

  • Horror !!! (1964, 16:29)
  • Location Search in Rothenburg ob der Tauber [Severin] (In German with English Subtitles, 7:41)
  • “Cinescope: Christopher Lee” (1976, 54:38)
  • David Del Valle Interviews Christopher Lee (2021/1985, 27:16)
  • The Man Behind the Mask: Christopher Lee Remembers Boris Karloff (1991, 35:05)
  • Monsters & Vampires: The Film Books of Alan Frank (18:11)
  • Interview Outtakes with Actor Christopher Lee (2001, 19:16)
  • Q&A with Actor Christopher Lee at University College Dublin (2011, 18:19)
  • Vintage Interview with Actor Christopher Lee (1975, 16:23)
  • Audio Interview with Actress Karin Dor [Severin] (In German with English Subtitles, 2001, 25:22)
  • Restoration Comparison (8:22)
Presentation Severin BD 2021
  • Video
    • File 1
      • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
      • Resolution: 1080p23.976
      • Overall bit rate: 35.00 Mbps
      • Aspect ratio: 1.57:1
      • Length:1:23:49.149
      • File size: 24.48 GiB
  • Audio
    • File 1
      • Language: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
      • Sampling rate: 48 kHz
      • Bit rate: 1862 kbps
      • Bit depth: 24-bit
    • File 2
      • Language: German DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
      • Sampling rate: 48 kHz
      • Bit rate: 1841 kbps
      • Bit depth: 24-bit
  • Subtitles
    • English SDH
Severin BD 2019
  • Video
    • File 1
      • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
      • Resolution: 1080p23.976
      • Overall bit rate: 30.00 Mbps
      • Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
      • Length:1:23:35.970
      • File size: 18.36 GiB
  • Audio
    • File 1
      • Language: English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Sampling rate: 48 kHz
      • Bit rate: 1536 kbps
      • Bit depth: 16-bit
  • Subtitles
    • English SDH
M-Square BD 2020
  • Video
    • File 1
      • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
      • Resolution: 1080p24
      • Overall bit rate: 25.00 Mbps
      • Aspect ratio: 1.57:1
      • Length:1:23:31.833
      • File size: 18.77 GiB
  • Audio
    • File 1
      • Language: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
      • Sampling rate: 48 kHz
      • Bit rate: 1787 kbps
      • Bit depth: 24-bit
    • File 2
      • Language: German DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
      • Sampling rate: 48 kHz
      • Bit rate: 1847 kbps
      • Bit depth: 24-bit
  • Subtitles
    • English
    • German
    • Spanish
M-Square BD 2020
  • Video
    • File 1
      • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
      • Resolution: 1080p
      • Aspect ratio: 1.57:1
  • Audio
    • File 1
      • Language: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
    • File 2
      • Language: German DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles
    • English
    • German
    • Spanish
Extras Audio Commentary by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson Severin BD
Audio Commentary by Chris D. and Wyatt Doyle Legend House DVD
Horror !!! - Vintage Documentary with Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Roger Corman and Roy Ashton (1964, 16:29, 1080p) Severin BD
Gore Beat: Euro Trash Title Mania! (18:31) Legend House DVD
Location Search in Rothenburg ob der Tauber [Severin] (In German with English Subtitles, 7:41, 1080p) Severin BD
“Cinescope: Christopher Lee” - Vintage TV Interview with Actor Christopher Lee (1976, 54:38, 480p) Severin BD
David Del Valle Interviews Christopher Lee (2021/1985, 27:16, 1080p) Severin BD
The Man Behind the Mask: Christopher Lee Remembers Boris Karloff (1991, 35:05, 1080p) Severin BD
Monsters & Vampires: The Film Books of Alan Frank - Interview with Author Alan Frank (18:11, 1080p) Severin BD
Interview Outtakes with Actor Christopher Lee (2001, 19:16, 1080p) Severin BD
Q&A with Actor Christopher Lee at University College Dublin (2011, 18:19, 1080p) Severin BD
Vintage Interview with Actor Christopher Lee (1975, 16:23, 480p) Severin BD
Audio Interview with Actress Karin Dor [Severin] - With Image Gallery (In German with English Subtitles, 2001, 25:22, 1080p) Severin BD
Alternate US Opening Title Sequence as “Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism” (1:50, 1080p) Severin BD
“O Sole Mio / It’s Now or Never” Music Video - With Actor Christopher Lee and Singer Gary Curtis; With Optional Commentary by Gary Curtis (3:52, 1080p) Severin BD
“She’ll Fall For Me” Music Video - With Actor Christopher Lee and Singer Gary Curtis; With Optional Commentary by Gary Curtis (4:31, 1080p) Severin BD
Restoration Comparison (8:22, 1080p) M-Square BD
Stills Gallery [EMS] EMS DVD
Stills Gallery [M-Square] - Artwork, Photos (4:42, 3:24) M-Square BD
Stills Gallery [Severin] - Artwork, Photos, Restoration Severin BD
German Teaser Trailer (1:11, 1080p) Severin BD
German Teaser Trailer (1:09, 1080p) M-Square BD
German Theatrical Trailer (3:13, 480p) Severin BD
German Theatrical Trailer (3:19, 1080p) M-Square BD
US Theatrical Trailer as “Blood Demon” (1:44, 1080p) Severin BD
Super 8 Version as “Das Todespendel - Burg des Grauens” (16:44, 480p) Severin BD
Super 8 Version as “Die Schlangengrube des Grafen Dracula” (16:03, 480p) Severin BD