Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Joan Collins and a nasty Santa
TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972). Director: Freddie Francis.

Long before the HBO series, there was this anthology film from Amicus that adapted several stories from the old 1950's E.C. horror comics, including Tales from the Crypt. Several people wind up in a mysterious crypt presided over by no less than a be-cloaked Sir Ralph Richardson, the crypt keeper [nothing like the cackling puppet on the TV series]. He tells them of their future fates, the inference being that they can avoid them if they change their ways. Joan Collins murders her husband and has to deal with a homicidal Santa in "And All Through the House." [The adaptation on the later series is superior to the version in this film.] Peter Cushing gets "Poetic Justice" after being bedeviled by neighbors. In "Reflection of Death" an unfaithful husband (Ian Hendry) survives a car wreck -- or at least thinks he does. "Wish You Were Here," a variation on "The Monkey's Paw," has a woman wishing for her husband to come back to life after he dies in a car wreck, but discovers that it's all in the phrasing. In "Blind Alleys" the residents of a home for the blind who are outrageously mistreated get a grisly revenge on the head of the institution. The movie is fun, well-acted, but has absolutely no style. Followed by The Vault of Horror.

Verdict: Some intriguing ideas get so-so treatment. **1/2.


-Alan D Hopewell said...

I just watched this again recently, and I'd have to say that it held up well.

I'm not a major blood and gore fan, preferring atmosphere and talent over gagularity. Lee, Cuhshing, Karloff, Price, they're where it's at

William said...

I tend to agree with you on that, although I don't mind a little creative gore now and then. Too often it's just people trying to outdo a gross scene they saw in another movie!