Five tourists who are exploring old catacombs find themselves separated from the main group they are with and instead in the company of The Crypt Keeper. He seemingly details how each of them will die.
The film then presents five separate stories regarding each character. These are ‘All Through The House’ in which on Christmas Eve Joanne is shown bumping off her husband for his life insurance but meets with instant karma in the guise of an escaped maniac dressed as Santa Claus, ‘Reflection of Death’ in which Carl abandons his family to go and live with his mistress. This is interrupted however when they are involved in a car accident. When he escapes the car he tries to hitchhike back home but finds that anyone whom he crosses paths with are horrified by his appearance. Another story is Poetic Justice in which an old widower is hounded out of his house by his rich neighbours. The next short film is Wish You Were Here in which a couple find that they have an antique that can grant them three wishes but with disastrous consequences. The final story is Blind Alleys in which the inhabitants of a home for the blind revolt against the abusive owner of the home who lives in luxury at their expense.
The Crypt Keeper than tells the five that he wasn’t warning them of their deaths and what will happen but what had happened and how they will spend eternity for their sins as it’s too late for repentance.
This British Amicus production is excellent and directed with verve and brilliance by the ever-fantastic Freddie Francis.
The cast are to die for (pun not intended) with HRH Joan Collins, Peter Cushing and Ian Hendry being amongst the big hitters.
The stories here are based on stories from the EC Comics Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror. Because of this many of the scares are visual and visceral rather than plot based. This works really well and sets the film apart from other similar works.
My favourite segment? All Through The House. I could actually watch Joan Collins all day long. She’s one of the greatest actresses to have graced the horror genre.
4 stars out of 5