Tales from the Crypt (1972), is an British anthology horror film directed by Freddie Francis and produced by Amicus Productions. It contains five stories all detailing the strange occurrences of someones death. The stories are also lifted from the EC Comics publications: Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear.
Five strangers get seperated from their tourist group as they are visiting old catacombs. They encounter a hooded, old Crypt Keeper who tells each of them a story.
The acting overall in the film ranges from bland to good, that's kind of what you get with these kind of movies with such large casts. I think my favorite acting coincides with the darkest stories of the film the third story, "Poetic Justice" and the final "Blind Alleys," these are both really messed up and dark stories but they both wouldn't have been as effective without the strong acting preformances.
I would say the film is a little dated. It's definitely not as flashy and fun or exciting as some of the other ones on the list I'm reviewing this season, but there's plenty of other reasons to watch it.
And the effects are one of the places it's most evident, some of the makeup and props hold up but all of the 70s special effects look very tacky today.
Easily my favorite thing about Tales from the Crypt is the framing story. I love how the viewer is just as confused as the main characters at the beginning and if you're paying attention you start to realize the stories all involve death. Then you notice the characters who die are the ones represented in the cave and by the time you realize what's actually going on the film ends. It's everything I liked about the framing device in The House that Dripped Blood (1970) but pulled off much more successfully!
And (as if that wasn't enough) the stories themselves are really good too. It's hard for me to pick a favorite because I enjoyed them all! There's lots of films now that are tributes to EC Comics but this film is the first one that actually makes me feel the same way reading the comics do. These are very dark stories, really not intended for kids at all and nothing is held back. I absolutely love them, honestly all horror films should really strive to be as good as the stories featured here in Tales from the Crypt.
This review is part of my 2014 run of 13 Nights of Macabre Movies! Tune in tomorrow as I review this film's sequel The Vault of Horror (1973).
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