If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, my love for anthologies should have become pretty obvious. This primarily manifests itself in the form of book, but I also love a good anthology horror movies as well. Although they seem to have fallen out of favor these days, that doesn’t stop me from indulging by re-watching the old classics. Tonight we’ll take a peek at the Amicus film FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (1974). Each of its four stories are based upon the works of British horror writer R. Chetwynd Hayes (as is the later film MONSTER CLUB which we’ll look at in a future article).
The stories begin when a patron enters an antique shop called Temptations Ltd. to purchase an item that brings them face-to-face with evil supernatural forces. The shops proprietor is played by none other than horror icon Peter Cushing.
Here’s a brief glimpse at each of the stories, including how I’d rate them:
1. “The Gatecrasher” – An old mirror is purchased for seances. Unfortunately, this one holds a vampiric entity trapped inside which starts to make violent demands of its new owner (played by David Warner). Not a bad tale. Rating: 3 out of 5 Green Skulls.
2. “An Act of Kindness” – A middle class man in a loveless marriage steals a war medal from the antique shop to try and impress a veteran (played by Donald Pleasance) who sells matches and shoe strings on a street corner. After the two strike a friendship, the veteran invites him to stop by his house for a visit. He does so and falls in love with the man’s beautiful daughter, which turns into an affair, but the daughter isn’t what the businessman thinks she is. This one was a lot of fun. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Green Skulls.
3. “The Elemental” – On the way home from cheating the antique dealer by replacing the price tag of a snuff box, a man is approached by an old psychic woman who tells him he has an invisible elemental perched on his shoulder. He turns down her offer to cleanse him of it until he gets home and bad things start happening. This was my least favorite of the lot. Rating: 2 out of 5 Green Skulls.
4. “The Door” – A writer purchases a large, lurid looking door which he uses for his stationary cupboard. When he opens it, however, an ancient blue room inhabited by a long dead, evil spirit appears. This was my favorite of these four tales. My Rating: 4 out 5 Green Skulls.
My Overall Rating is 3 out 5 Glowing Skulls.
Article by Matt Cowan