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In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier and his crew to investigate reports of illegal smuggling and bootlegging in a coastal town where locals believe in Marsh Phantoms.
Peter Graham Scott
Five strangers board a train and are joined by a mysterious fortune teller who offers to read their Tarot cards. Five separate stories unfold: An architect returns to his ancestral home to find a werewolf out for revenge; a doctor discovers his new wife is a vampire; a huge plant takes over a house; a musician gets involved with voodoo; an art critic is pursued by a disembodied hand. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the first Amicus film and it's anthological style was to become their trademark.
It's a wonderfully atmospheric film, with the linking story and the subsequent tales mostly taking place in the dark.
Peter Cushing is brilliant; his portrayal of Dr. Shreck is perfectly judged in that he gives his character a mysterious aura without going "over-the-top".
The 1st story involving a werewolf is efficiently eerie. However, story 2 (killer vine) and story 3 (voodoo) are disappointingly silly, whilst story 5 about a vampire (with a baby-faced Donald Sutherland)is good and has a nice twist at the end.
The best story of the lot (by far) is Story 4 with Christopher Lee as a savage art critic and Michael Gough as a sensitive artist - watch out for the disembodied hand! This story is worth watching the film alone!
Freddie Francis battles against some cheap looking sets to maintain the film's eerieness throughout and essentially, it's a film I would recommend to anybody.
As would happen later, Amicus found it very difficult to put a decent linking story and four or five consistently effective tales together in one film. Never mind....
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