A Scotland Yard investigator looks into four mysterious cases involving an unoccupied house: 1) A writer encounters a strangler of his own creation, 2) Two men are obsessed with a wax ... See full summary »
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 ancestoral home to... See full summary »
A young psychiatrist interviews four inmates in a mental asylum to satisfy a requirement for employment. He hears stories about 1) the revenge of a murdered wife, 2) a tailor who makes a ... See full summary »
Anthology film from Amicus adapted from four short stories by R. Chetwynd-Hayes strung together about an antique dealer who owns a shop called Temptations Ltd. and the fate that befalls his... See full summary »
Five men trapped in the basement vault of an office building share visions with each other of their demise. Stories revolve around vampires, bodily dismemberment, east Indian mysticism, an ... See full summary »
3 horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the 1st story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of three elderly friends. In "... See full summary »
Dr Tremayne is an enigmatic Psychiatrist running a Futuristic asylum housing four very special cases. Visited by colleague Nicholas, Tremayne explains his amazing and controversial theories... See full summary »
England 1795: the young Catherine just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes victim of an old curse that lays on the family. On her wedding night she's raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.
Haunted house chiller from Dan Curtis has Oliver Reed and Karen Black as summer caretakers moving into gothic house with their young son. The catch? The house rejuvenates a part of itself ... See full summary »
A Scotland Yard investigator looks into four mysterious cases involving an unoccupied house: 1) A writer encounters a strangler of his own creation, 2) Two men are obsessed with a wax figure of a woman from their past, 3) A little girl displays an interest in witchcraft, and 4) A film actor discovers a cloak which gives him a vampire's powers. Written by
Wes Clark <email@example.com>
*contains very minor spoilers* (I'm sure the back of the box gives away more!)
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Joss Ackland, Jon Pertwee...hey, this is one heck of a B-movie cast! All my British friends, together in the same horror anthology. Bliss. Mind you, I'm generally not too crazy about Amicus films; they're more screwed-up and cynical than their charming Hammer counterparts. But this time, Amicus got it just about right. The quality of the stories is uneven, but each has merit.
Story #1 is a pretty dull tale about a horror writer (played by Indiana Jones' buddy Denholm Elliot) who is haunted by one of his fictional creations, a strangler called Dominick. There are some interesting twists, yeah, but the characters are such stereotypes that it's hard to care much about them. And there's really nothing more tedious than writers writing about themselves! Stick with it, though, there's better stuff to come.
Story #2 is probably my favorite. The newly-retired Peter Cushing is haunted by a waxwork figure in a horror museum; it bears a striking resemblance to the late love of his life. An old friend, played by Joss Ackland (a very natural and likable performance), arrives and also falls under the wax girl's spell. I didn't really understand this story when I was ten, probably because I had not yet learned to pine for inaccessible women. However, since then I've been convinced that a wooden figure in a playground was modeled on an ex of mine, so suddenly this really resonates! A wonderfully sad, lonely tale.
Story #3 is also great. Christopher Lee gets to play a sort-of good guy, a rare treat for his fans; his daughter, as it turns out, is a little sorceress. The contrast between her sweet appearance and evil aims works rather well.
Story #4 is...ahem...rather silly, actually. It stars Jon "Doctor Who" Pertwee as a flamboyant horror film star. There's a lot of metahumor in this one; for example, Pertwee's character complains about having to star in cheap horror movies within the context of...a cheap horror movie called "The House that Dripped Blood"! "Doctor Who" was cheap, too, so one wonders if Pertwee was secretly complaining about his own career. But, apparently, he was actually spoofing Christopher Lee. The humor is this segment works, but it's strange to end such a dark movie with a goofy installment. I also don't know quite how to feel about seeing Jon get hoisted up on clearly visible wires during a "flying" segment.
After a somewhat dodgy epilogue with more Pertwee facing-making, the whole thing wraps up nicely with some cryptic remarks from an estate agent. On to the next British horror cheapie!
By their very nature, these anthology movies are mixed bags, but this is definitely one of the strongest. It's worth a look for the cast alone, and the middle two installments are definitely superior horror shorts.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?