Tales from the Crypt 1972

Horror + Joan Collins… It works well in this.

This is a very good Anthology horror movie. If you like seeing bad people getting their due…it is for you.

I watched this movie as a seven year old on television. This movie set me straight for a while…no misbehaving after watching this. It’s got a feel of the Twilight Zone set in the early 1970s with vivid green nature surrounding that only 1970’s England on film can give you.

5 strangers travel through caves and wonder how and why they all got there as they meet a Crypt Keeper. One by one each has a story that is shown.

It still works now. The stories are well written and my favorite is “Blind Alleys” about someone who could care less about the welfare of other people. Actor Patrick Magee is great in this one. He also appeared in A Clockwork Orange as the writer.

I’ve always liked Anthology horror movies and this was the first one I remember watching. Amicus Productions made many movies in this vein. I like the creepiness around many of these early 1970s horror films.

I’m posting the wiki information below about each story. 

…And All Through the House

Joanne Clayton (Joan Collins) kills her husband (Martin Boddey) on Christmas Eve. She prepares to hide his body, but hears a radio announcement stating that a homicidal maniac (Oliver MacGreevy) is on the loose. She sees the killer (who is dressed in a Santa Claus costume) outside her house, but cannot call the police without exposing her own crimes.

Believing the maniac to be Santa, Joanne’s young daughter (Chloe Franks) unlocks the door and lets him into the house, whereupon he starts to strangle Joanne to death.

 

Reflection of Death

Carl Maitland (Ian Hendry) abandons his family to be with Susan Blake (Angela Grant). After they drive off together, they are involved in a car accident. He wakes up in the wrecked car and attempts to hitch-hike home, but everyone he meets reacts with horror upon seeing him. Arriving at his house, he sees his wife (Susan Denny) with another man.

 

He knocks on the door, but she screams and slams the door. He then goes to see Susan to find out that she is blind from the accident. She says that Carl died two years ago in the crash. Glancing at a reflective tabletop, he sees he has the face of a rotted, hideous corpse and screams in horror. Carl then wakes up and finds out that it was a dream, but the moment he does, the crash occurs as previously seen.

 

Poetic Justice

Edward Elliott (David Markham) and his son James (Robin Phillips) are a snobbish pair who resent their neighbour, dustman Arthur Grimsdyke (Peter Cushing), who owns a number of animals and entertains children in his house. To get rid of what they see as a blight on the neighbourhood, they push Grimsdyke into a frenzy by conducting a smear campaign against him, first resulting in the removal of his beloved dogs (one of them returns to him), then persuading a member of the council to have him removed from his job, and later exploiting parents’ paranoiac fears about child molestation.

 

On Valentine’s Day, James sends Grimsdyke a number of poison-pen Valentines, supposedly from the neighbours, driving the old man to suicide. One year later, Grimsdyke comes back from the dead and takes revenge on James: the following morning, Edward finds his son dead with a note that says he was bad and that he had no heart—the word “heart” represented by James’s heart, torn from his body.

 

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here (The Haunt of Fear #22, November–December 1953), a variation on W. W. Jacobs’ famed short story “The Monkey’s Paw”.

Ineffective businessman Ralph Jason (Richard Greene) is close to financial ruin. His wife Enid (Barbara Murray) discovers a Chinese figurine that says it will grant three wishes to whoever possesses it; Enid decides to wish for a fortune; surprisingly, it comes true. However, Ralph is killed, seemingly in a car crash, on the way to his lawyer’s office to collect it. The lawyer (Roy Dotrice) then advises Enid she will inherit a fortune from her deceased husband’s life insurance plan. She uses her second wish to bring him back to the way he was just before the accident, but learns that his death was due to a heart attack immediately before the crash (caused by fright when he sees the figure of “death” following him on a motorcycle).

As she uses her final wish to bring him back alive and to live forever, she discovers that he was embalmed. She tries to kill him to end his pain but because she wished him to live forever, he cannot be killed. She has now trapped him in eternal pain.

 

Blind Alleys

Major William Rogers (Nigel Patrick), the incompetent new director of a home for the blind made up mostly of elderly and middle-aged men, makes drastic financial cuts, reducing heat and rationing food for the residents while he lives in luxury with his German Shepherd, Shane. When Rogers ignores the pleas of resident George Carter (Patrick Magee) for help, another resident dies from the cold and a stone-faced Carter leads the others in exacting revenge. Carter and his group subdue the staff, then lock Rogers and Shane in separate rooms in the basement as they construct a maze of narrow corridors between the two rooms. Rogers and Shane are starved, leading to the dog becoming ravenous.

After two days, Rogers’ door is unlocked and he must find his way through with the lights off. He yells out in pain as Carter turns the lights on, discovering one corridor is lined with razor blades. Rogers makes it past, but finds Shane being let out from the room in front of him. He flees back towards the razors, but Carter turns the lights off and Rogers is heard screaming as the hungry dog catches up with him.

Finale

After completing the final tale, the Crypt Keeper reveals that he was not warning them of what would happen, but telling them what has already happened: they have all “died without repentance”. Clues to this twist can be spotted throughout the film, including Joanna wearing the brooch her husband had given her for Christmas just before she killed him. The door to Hell opens and Joanna, Carl, James, Ralph, and Major Rogers all enter. “And now… who is next?” asks the Crypt Keeper, turning to face the camera as he says “Perhaps you?” The scene pulls away as the entrance to the Crypt Keeper’s lair is in flames