Critic’s Corner: The Vault of Horror (1973)

© Amicus Productions

Happy Halloween!  This review is brought to you courtesy of Dr. Z!

This anthology film includes five stories, with an ingenious linking story showing five men trapped in the basement of an office block.  They each share their stories with one another believing them to be recurring dreams…

The first one is a real chiller that is too short – “Midnight Mess” takes us into a restaurant full of vampires.  Number two is “The Neat Job”, the tale of a domineering man who pushes his wife too far.  This story is a downer for me with it’s sick humour being a little too depressing at times.  The next offering is “This Trick’ll Kill You”, about a devious magician on holiday in India.  This story is enjoyable but has a very predictable ending.  Number four is more creative, “Bargain In Death”, about an insurance scam involving a man faking his own death.  This has a few twists I didn’t see coming.  The last is the best – “Drawn and Quartered” sees a wronged artist seeking revenge through voodoo.  Tom Baker brings a powerful intensity to his role, his baritone voice complimented with a Rasputin-like beard.  It’s definitely a memorable twenty minutes!

Rating: 7 out of 10 Stars

Despite the sometimes weak storytelling and the kitsch 70’s fashion, overall this movie has the depth of atmosphere that gives you creeps!  In the mood for more anthology horrors?  Check out Asylum and Tales from the Crypt (both from 1972).

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