Tales from the Crypt
Dir: Freddie Francis. Cast: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ian Hendry, Partick Magee, Ralph Richardson. 1972.
While Hammer Films was transplanting their gothic horrors to modern day settings in the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s, amping up the nudity and violence, and adding doses of tongue in cheek humour, their fellow UK horror specialists Amicus Productions was making a name for itself by focusing on anthology horror films such as The Vault of Horror, Asylum and From Beyond the Grave, among others. And while personal favourites may vary, Tales from the Crypt is readily mine.
Taking its name and stories from classic EC comics, as did Vault of Horror a year later, Tales from the Crypt sees five people who, on impulse, decide to tour nearby catacombs in order to kill time. Once in, the Crypt Keeper tells each a story highlighting his or her misdeeds.
The second story - Reflection of Death - is the weakest of the five tales, but it’s entertaining nonetheless, and for my money, the other four stories are as good as this stuff gets. Gruesome and ghoulish, Tales from the Crypt is thoroughly entertaining and utterly satisfying.