A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
5 people come upon a catacomb and take the tour. After they get lost, they find they're trapped, and, they see The crypt keeper (Ralph Richardson). He asks them each to ree why they're there: (1) And All Through the House: Christmas Eve, Joanne Clayton kills her husband expecting to receive his insurance. She hears on the wireless the police are seeking an escape homicidal maniac posing of Santa. When the man knocks on her door, she can't phone the police, and she has a Christmas surprise. (2) Reflection of Death: Carl Maitland leaves his wife and children for his mistress. But something happens during their journey (3) Poetic Justice: the widowed janitor, Arthur Edward Grimsdyke is a good man who spends his leisure time with the children from the neighbourhood. His heartless neighbor, doesn't like him, and destroys his life leading Grimsdyke to commit suicide on Valentine's day. A year later, Grimsdyke rises from his tomb seeking revenge. (4) Wish You Were Here: the dirty businessman...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the sequence "Blind Alleys", when William is shown making his way through the tunnel, the razor blades stuck in the walls repeatedly change from actual razor blades to harmless pieces of paper/plastic from shot to shot. See more »
The 2007 Region 1 DVD from Twentieth Century-Fox contains some extra scenes when compared to the original theatrical and previous home video releases. At the conclusion of the story "Poetic Justice," previous releases showed the man beginning to open the bottom part of the Valentine's letter, it then cuts to him screaming and covering his face with his hands, and then cuts back to the letter to reveal a still beating, severed heart inside the paper. The 2007 release actually shows the heart when he opens the letter, his scream is heard off-screen, then it cuts to him covering his face, then cuts back to the shot of the heart as in previous releases except, the shot is slightly longer. In the story "Wish You Were Here," when Enid chops up Ralph with the saber, there is a shot of Ralph's exposed intestines which was not present in previous releases. See more »
*CAUTION - HUGE SPOILERS* Five strangers are separated from their tour party while touring ancient catacombs. In attempt to find the others, they end up trapped in an eerie crypt where they meet the Cryptkeeper (SIR RALPH RICHARDSON), a sinister monk who shows them their grisly fortunes.
AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE: Joanne Clayton (JOAN COLLINS) murders her husband on Christmas Eve for his life insurance but ends up being attacked by a psychopathic killer dressed as Father Christmas.
REFLECTION OF DEATH: Carl Maitland (IAN HENDRY) leaves his family for his young mistress Susan (ANGIE GRANT). As they drive off into the night, their car crashes into a ravine. Carl manages to struggle out of the wreckage but Susan is nowhere to be found. Everyone he approaches runs off in fear at the sight of him and when he manages to get to Susan's flat, he discovers that she was blinded by the accident and that he had died two years previously. Bewildered, Carl looks into a mirror and discovers that he is a walking corpse. Suddenly Carl awakens and it was all a nightmare, but then the car crashes exactly as it did in his dream and the horror begins for real!
POETIC JUSTICE: Ruthless property developer James Elliot (ROBIN PHILIPS) feels that his neighbour, the kindly dustman Arthur Grimsdyke (PETER CUSHING) is an eyesore. However, his property has considerable land value and Elliot launches a smear campaign in the hope that he will sell up and leave. Instead Grimsdyke commits suicide after he sent him a number of poison Valentine cards, but a year on Grimsdyke returns from the grave to deliver a particularly grisly St Valentine's Day present!
WISH YOU WERE HERE: Ruthless business tycoon Ralph Jason (RICHARD GREENE) is declared bankrupt by his lawyer Charles Gregory (ROY DOTRICE). But Jason's wife Enid (BARBARA MURRAY) has discovered a statuette, which can grant three wishes. After Ralph is killed in a car crash, Enid wishes her husband alive forever and as a result Jason returns from the dead. However, his body has been embalmed and this means that he must live in eternal agony forever. Enid attempts to end is suffering by chopping him up with a sword, but this means that his suffering is only increased.
BLIND ALLEYS: Selfish Major William Rogers (NIGEL PATRICK) takes over the running of a home for the blind. However, Rogers uses funds allocated to the needs of his patients for his own comfort. When his negligence results in the death of one of them, the other patients exact a nasty revenge, in which Rogers is trapped in a corridor lined with razor blades and is set upon by his vicious starved dog.
After Rogers' fortunes are told, the Cryptkeeper informs them that he wasn't showing them the future, but telling them why they ended up in the crypt. The only exit leads into a fiery pit and they realize that they are all dead and are in hell as a result of their sins.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT was Amicus's fourth portmanteau horror film and is based on stories from the EC horror comics of the fifties by William Gaines. Freddie Francis' direction is first rate as is Norman Warwick's camera-work, which ideally suits the comic strip style of the film. A star-studded cast does fine work especially Peter Cushing as Arthur Grimsdyke in POETIC JUSTICE, a touching performance which won him the Best Actor Of The Year Award in France. REFLECTION OF DEATH is well staged and shot in dark uncompromising colors. WISH YOU WERE HERE is a variation on THE MONKEY'S PAW, while BLIND ALLEYS is neat and suspenseful thanks to imaginative camera-work and good performances from Nigel Patrick and Patrick Magee as the victimised blind man. I guarantee that the way Francis shot this episode will have you on the edge of your seat! AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE carries a touch of sly black humor as Joanne Clayton's little daughter played by Chloe Franks gleefully lets in the psychotic Santa Claus not realizing the real horror of what's going on. All in all, TALES FROM THE CRYPT is unmissable for both addicts of the genre and for those who appreciate fine acting.
Also of interest is the collectable novelized version of the film by Jack Oleck, which is well presented and good to read. Genre addicts will have a good laugh when they see the follow up, VAULT OF HORROR (1973), in which that very book is used as a prop by actor Michael Craig in the buried alive segment. In the 1990's, the EC horror comics were developed into an American TV series entitled Tales From The Crypt only the crypt keeper was a horrific skull like puppet and a 1996 episode called Last Respects was directed by Francis.
53 of 56 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this