Sunday, October 04, 2009

Scott Watches TALES FROM THE CRYPT and TALES OF TERROR back to back!

While doing some shopping at a local wal-mart, I hit the video section and began to sift through the five dollar bin. Much to my surprise, I came across the Amicus production of TALES FROM THE CRYPT from 1972. The irony was not lost on me as I had mentioned this film in my last post. I had to change my plans and make this film part of my next double feature!

I had seen this film before. The movie had been given to me as a gift by my pal Val back in the days of VHS. I remember being surprised at how good the film actually was. But tastes change and I wondered if the film would hold up after all these years.

I’m happy to say that this film holds up remarkably well! I thought that overall this was a better film than THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD. TALES FROM THE CRYPT is helmed by director Freddie Francis who also directed THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN, NIGHTMARE and DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE for Hammer films. He also directed THE SKULL for Amicus. I think that TALES FROM THE CRYPT is his best overall film.

The film begins with five strangers who find themselves in a cavernous room with a mysterious crypt keeper, played by Sir Ralph Richardson. One by one, he reveals their destinies. Also in the cast are Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ian Hendry, Patrick Magee (fresh from his appearance in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.) and Nigel Patrick.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT looks fine on the region 1 DVD and is a vast improvement from what I remember of my VHS copy. The print looks to be in decent shape and is enhanced for widescreen televisions. Also included with the DVD is the films follow up THE VAULT OF HORROR. A perfect double feature you say? Nonsense! Gary would not stand for it! We here at Reel Cinema like to do things the hard way! So I followed this film with a screening of…

TALES OF TERROR. I was trying to rack my brain on what I could do for a double feature. Being that THE VAULT OF HORROR was out, I was thinking that CREEPSHOW 2 might be a good candidate. I hadn’t seen that film in years and even though it’s no way near as good a film as the original CREEPSHOW, it seemed like a good match. But my heart was just not into it. Then a chance visit to my local Movie stop provided me with a better answer. Sitting on a shelf marked down to $1.99, Roger Corman’s TALES OF TERROR!

I had never seen TALES OF TERROR before, so I was looking forward to it. I was not disappointed. The film is based on four Edgar Allan Poe tales adapted into three tales for the film by Richard Matheson, one of my favorite writers. Each sequence is introduced by Vincent Price who also appears in all three tales. The film also stars Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone. It was released in 1962.

Given that TALES OF TERROR was released on DVD in 2000, I was surprised as how good the 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer is! While I picked up the solo version DVD, this film was later released on DVD with another Vincent Price flick TWICE TOLD TALES from 1963

Another fun night of movie viewing!!


PSGifford said...

An excellent post. Tales from the Crypt is perhaps my favorite horror anthology movie.

Scott said...

Thanks for the kind words! Yes. Tales from the Crypt is a great horror anthology!