HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Vault of Horror, The Going Down?Buy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Dawn Addams, Tom Baker, Michael Craig, Denholm Elliott, Glynis Johns, Edward Judd, Curt Jurgens, Anna Massey, Daniel Massey, Terry-Thomas, Robin Nedwell, Geoffrey Davies, Terence Alexander, Ishaq Bux, John Forbes-Robertson, Jasmina Hilton, Arthur Mullard
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In a London tower block, five men get into the lift and press the button for the ground floor, but before long it is clear that there is something awry. The doors open not at the ground floor but at a vault in the basement, and when all the men get out, wondering what is going on, they realise that there are no buttons by the doors as they close. They are trapped, but as there are drinks to be imbibed and comfortable seats to relax in, they're not too bothered about waiting for rescue. What is bothering them is the strange nightmares they've been suffering, and with nothing else to do, they begin relating their tales...

One of the last of Amicus' portmanteau horror movies, The Vault of Horror was, like Tales from the Crypt before it, based on the popular but at the time controversial comics from William Gaines' 1950s E.C. line. The originals were marked not simply by their gruesome traits, but by their black sense of humour as well, yet the glee with which they were presented was somewhat lacking when producer and writer Milton Subotsky brought his adaptations to the screen - in fact, they were a little dry.

There's nothing wrong with the stories themselves, as they all have decent set ups and fitting punchlines, it's just that a more than a modicum of jokiness could have lifted them above the routine. As it is, they are more quietly amusing than all-out thrill rides, starting with Daniel Massey's jaunt to track down his missing sister, played by his actual sister Anna Massey, but when he ends up at an isolated village where the locals warn him not to stay out after dark, we can guess what the danger is. He, of course, remains oblivious until it's too late.

It's not a bad start, and from there we go to the most outright comedic part, where neatness freak Terry-Thomas drives his wife Glynis Johns to distraction by insisting everything should be in its correct place. These two make a good couple, but should really have been given more funny lines. Next up is Curt Jurgens and Dawn Addams in India, discovering the Indian rope trick and resorting to murder to secure its secret. This one is more straight-faced, but when the rope comes alive for the climax you may be prompted into unintentional laughter rather than intentional chills.

Then it's Michael Craig's insurance scam, where he takes a drug that induces a death-like state and allows him to get his money, but his cohort Edward Judd has plans of his own. Notable for co-starring sitcom actors Robin Nedwell and Geoffrey Davies from Doctor in the House and their umpteen spin-offs as medical students who offer Craig a chance to survive, this one feels undernourished. Lastly artist Tom Baker resorts to voodoo to get his own back on the art world which has wronged him; there's some fair nastiness here but like the rest of the film it plods when it should be proceeding at least at a healthy jog. Still, none of the stories hangs around long enough to get boring, and The Vault of Horror was enjoyable enough for fans of the Amicus style. Music by Douglas Gamley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4535 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roy Ward Baker  (1916 - 2010)

Reliable British director who worked his way up from teaboy to assistant to Alfred Hitchcock to overseeing his own hit projects from the 1940s to the 1970s. Making his debut with The October Man, he continued with Morning Departure, Don't Bother To Knock, Inferno, The One That Got Away and what is considered by many to be the best Titanic film, A Night To Remember.

After the failure of The Singer Not the Song in the sixties he turned to television, including episodes of The Avengers, The Saint and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), then to Hammer, where he directed many of the later favourites associated with the studio: Quatermass and the Pit, The Anniversary, The Vampire Lovers, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. He also made Asylum, Vault of Horror and The Monster Club for Hammer's rivals, then returned for the remainder of his career to TV with episodes of Minder and Fairly Secret Army, among others.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: