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

Thursday, April 14, 2016


FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (1974). Director: Kevin Connor.

This anthology, based on the work of R. Chetwynd-Hayes, features stories that are loosely tied in with an antique shop run by an elderly proprietor (Peter Cushing). The first story deals with a mirror  with a demonic inhabitant who urges the owner, Edward Charlton (David Warner) to butcher women. In the second story Christopher Lowe (Ian Bannen), a man saddled with a harridan of a wife (Diana Dors,) encounters an old fellow veteran (Donald Pleasance of You Only Live Twice), and his rather odd daughter (Angela Pleasance) who falls for him -- or so he thinks. The third story is about a man (Ian Carmichael) and his wife (Nyree Dawn Porter) who hire a medium, Madame Orloff (Margaret Leighton of The Astonished Heart), to get rid of an "elemental" that is causing havoc. The fourth and final episode, which is easily the best and most suspenseful, has a man (Ian Ogilvy of And Now the Screaming Starts) affixing an antique door to a cupboard and discovering that it now opens into a cobwebbby and sinister old room that is kept alive by human sacrifices, one of whom almost becomes his wife (Lesley-Anne Down).

Verdict: Well-produced Amicus film with some good actors and generally mediocre scripts. **1/2 out of four.


angelman66 said...

Another great assembly of horror talent! Mr. Pleasance is watchable in almost anything (just saw him as the eerie priest in Eye of the Devil), the wonderful Peter Cushing, and I am a big fan of David Warner (so great in Time After Time as Jack the Ripper.). Margaret Leighton and Ian Bannen, too? I'm there...

William said...

Donald Pleasance is an under-rated actor because he's been in a lot of bad movies and can be hammy, but when he's good, he's very, very good. I recall him on an episode of "Twilight Zone" where he gives a very sensitive performance of an aging teacher mourning his dead pupils.

I have a video of "Eye of the Devil" that I'm going to look at soon.