20 August 2014

Vault of Horror (1973)
86 min.
Directed by Roy Ward Baker.
With Glynis Johns, Anna Massey, Daniel Massey, Tom Baker, Terry-Thomas, Denholm Elliott, Michael Craig, Curd Jürgens, Dawn Addams, Edward Judd, Robin Nedwell, Geoffrey Davis.
This Amicus anthology is a worthwhile followup to Tales from the Crypt (1972).

Five men enter a high rise elevator and choose ground level as their destination.

But inexplicably, the lift takes the men to a mysterious sub basement where it traps them.

To pass the time, each man tells a recurring nightmare that's been plaguing him.

All five horror tales are watchable fun, especially This Trick'll Kill You, about an Indian mystic who teaches a pair of conniving tourists a deadly magic trick.

Also a standout is The Neat Job, with Glynis Johns as a fed-up housewife who takes orderliness to an entirely new level...

Other segments include Midnight Mess, about a man who kills his sister (Massey) for the family inheritance. Only to discover he's trapped in a town of vampires...and they've brought his dead sister back to life for some vengeance!

Bargain in Death is a gruesome ditty about two men who try to pull off an insurance scan by burying one of them alive. But things go terribly wrong when the other betrays his friend, leaving him entombed for good...

And in Drawn and Quartered, an artist gets revenge on a group of art dealers who crossed him...by using his paintings as evil black magic!

Overall, this EC horror comics-based omnibus of terror isn't as strong as the studio's Asylum but certainly is a solid companion piece to Tales.

The surprise frame ending, though a tad uninspired, is still cool and workable.

Also known as Tales from the Crypt Part II.

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