Release Date: March 8th, 1972 (New York City premiere)
Directed by: Freddie Francis
Written by: Milton Subotsky
Based on: Tales From the Crypt & The Vault of Horror by EC Comics, Johnny Craig, Al Feldstein, William M. Gaines
Music by: Douglas Gamley
Cast: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene, Ian Hendry, Patrick Magee, Barbara Murray, Nigel Patrick, Robin Phillips, Ralph Richardson
Amicus Productions, Cinema Releasing Corporation, Metromedia Producers Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox, 92 Minutes
“[reading Arthur Grimsdyke’s revenge letter written in the dead James Elliot’s blood] “You were cruel and mean right from the start, now you can truly say you have no… heart”.” – Father
As a fan of Amicus Productions and Tales From the Crypt, I don’t know how I didn’t discover this film sooner. I just assumed that the ’80s television series and the few films that followed were the only live-action versions of the franchise, which started in the ’50s as a comic series put out by publisher EC.
Furthermore, this has Peter Cushing and Patrick Magee in it. It also has Joan Collins, who would go on to have great fame a decade later.
This is an anthology movie like many of the films that Amicus put out. It’s not their best effort but it is still cool seeing them recreate EC Comics stories from Tales From the Crypt and The Vault of Horror.
Like most anthologies, the stories are a mixed bag. What’s interesting about this one, however, is that it crams five stories and several bookend/bridge scenes within its 92 minutes. Most of these movies would give you three tales.
That being said, some of the segments feel rushed and too quick. However, the ones that are good are pretty fun and cool.
As a film on its own, without the Tales From the Crypt branding, this just feels like another Amicus anthology lost in the shuffle with most of the others.
In the end, it’s just okay but the high points saved it from being a dud.
Pairs well with: other horror anthologies of the ’70s and ’80s.