Tales From The Crypt

1972, Movie, PG, 92 mins

Review

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A somewhat disappointing attempt to translate William Gaines's E.C. horror comics of the 1950s to the screen, TALES FROM THE CRYPT suffers from the flat direction of Freddie Francis, who fails to capture the gleeful ghoulishness of the comics. Richardson, as the Crypt Keeper, introduces each tale from his underground lair (to which all the principal characters have been summoned). The first story, "All through the House," finds Collins being terrorized by a psycho killer dressed as Santa Claus. "Reflection of Death" features Hendry as a philanderer who was killed in a car crash but doesn't realize he's dead. "Poetic Justice," adapted from one of the all-time great E.C. comics stories, finds Peter Cushing as a kindly old man who loves the neighborhood children. His neighbors, a greedy real estate man and his son, hate Cushing and want to drive him from the area. On Valentine's Day they send him dozens of nasty cards, and the old man is driven to suicide. Next Valentine's Day, however, Cushing rises from the grave to get revenge. "Wish You Were Here" is a variation on the classic story "The Monkey's Paw" and stars Greene as a crooked businessman whose wife buys a Chinese curio that will grant her three wishes--though things don't quite turn out the way she'd like. The last story, "Blind Alleys," features Nigel Patrick as the cruel director of a home for the blind whose charges exact a horrible revenge. Of the five tales "Poetic Justice" and "Blind Alleys" are the standouts. The film did well at the box office and spawned a sequel, THE VAULT OF HORROR (1973). Ten years later George Romero would tackle E.C. comics-type horrors in his omnibus, CREEPSHOW (1982). leave a comment

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