England, 1795: the young Catherine has just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes the victim of an old curse that lays on the family. On her wedding night she is raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.
A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
Dr. Alice Dodgson gets her medical license revoked after the death of a patient. She's facing the possibility of not getting any job when she accepts to be the nurse for one young man who ... See full summary »
Five strangers board a descending lift, one by one, in a modern office block in London. They reach the sub-basement, though none of them have pressed for that destination. There they find a large, elaborately furnished room that appears to be a gentlemen's club. The lift door has closed; there are no buttons to bring it back, nor any other exit. Resigned to waiting for help, they settle down with drinks and talk. The conversation turns to dreams, and each man tells of a recurring nightmare. Segment 1: Midnight Mess: Harold Rodgers (Daniel Massey) tracks his sister Donna (Anna Massey) to a strange village, and kills her to claim her share of the family inheritance. After settling down to a post-murder meal at the local restaurant, he discovers the town is home to a nest of vampires: Donna is not as dead as he thinks, and he becomes the dish of the night when his jugular vein is tapped out as a beverage dispenser. Segment 2 The Neat Job: The obsessively neat Arthur Critchit (...Written by
The original UK version, also originally shown in US theaters with an R rating, differs from the version used for the Nostalgia Merchant videotape and pay-TV showings as follows:
Tale 1: Full-motion scene of Daniel Massey hung upside down with a tap in his neck, shuddering as the waiter pours glasses of blood and hands them out. In the cut version, entire section replaced by a still frame of same.
Tale 2: After Glynnis Johns hits Terry-Thomas on the head with a hammer, blood spurts out, and he falls backward out of frame. The cut version becomes a still frame when the hammer makes contact with the head. The ending shows four shelves of her husband's body parts neatly preserved in jars, including one labeled "Odds and Ends". The cut version shows only the first two shelves.
Tale 5: When the publisher gets his hands chopped off by the paper cutter, the camera dollies in as he continues screaming, holding out his bleeding stumps.
Since I first saw photos of it when I was a little kid, I wanted to see this early 1970s horror movie from the same British who brought us TALES OF THE CRYPT. When I was like 7 or 8 years old, I was a little chilled by the photo of the man hanging upside-down and a vampire has connected a tap-fawcet to the unfortunate bloke's neck! Sadly, this scene happens in VAULT OF HORROR (1973) exactly as it did in magazine oldies like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and THE MONSTER TIMES: It's a still shot! That's right, a single photo of the fanged villain and his victim! It's done this way for dramatic effect and seems to work, but I had already seen the exact same thing in printed form!
However, this is not to say I was disapointed. This series of stories is very interesting, with intriguing characters throughout. The ending is predictable to anybody who's already seen TALES OF THE CRYPT, but there's a nifty gore seen earlier in the film where a guy's hands get chopped off. As is often the case with British horror, the emphasis is more on drama than sheer terror-- but it's all pretty entertaining.
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