In connection with the current "Ka-Pow! When Comics Imperiled America" show in the Flinn Gallery, Greenwich Library's Friends Friday Films will present Tales From The Crypt on Friday March 27th beginning at 8:00 pm. The 1972 British film adapts five short stories from the infamous EC Comics horror line that were published between 1950-55. (Although, oddly enough, only two of the stories in the film are from the actual Tales comic; the other three were adapted from EC's companion books The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror.)*
Five people get separated from a tour group in a series of catacombs and find themselves trapped in a strange stone crypt. A mysterious hooded crypt keeper (Ralph Richardson) appears and proceeds to tell each one of them their possible future. Or is it their future...?
"...And All Through The House" (from Vault of Horror #35) stars Joan Collins as a woman who murders her rich husband on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, a homicidal killer dressed as Santa Claus is prowling the neighborhood. "Reflection of Death" (Tales From The Crypt #23) depicts a businessman (Ian Hendry) abandoning his family to run off with his secretary, but unforeseen events intervene. "Poetic Justice" (Haunt of Fear #12) has a rich snob (Robin Phillips) harassing an elderly garbage collector (horror legend Peter Cushing!) to force him out of the neighborhood, with deadly results.
"Wish You Were Here" (Haunt of Fear #22), an acknowledged retelling/revision of W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw", focuses on a newly bankrupt arms dealer (Richard Greene) whose life takes a turn for the worse after his wife (Barbara Murray) foolishly makes three wishes to regain their lost fortune. And "Blind Alleys" (Tales From The Crypt #45), the best of the five stories, has mistreated blind rest home residents get revenge on the institution's uncaring director (Nigel Patrick).
Tales From The Crypt was produced by Milton Subotsky (who also adapted the original stories for the film) and Max J. Rosenberg, and directed by Freddie Francis. All three had worked together before on such horror films as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors and The Skull (both 1965), and Torture Garden (1967). With a solid cast, script, and direction, along with some welcome black humor, Tales From The Crypt is a lot of good scary fun. (Yes, there is some gore; a character's final fate in Wish You Were Here" is especially graphic.) Rated PG-13, Tales runs 92 minutes. Check it out. If you dare!
*(Ballantine Books released paperback reprint anthologies of Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror in 1964-65. The stories in this film were taken from these two editions.)
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