Vault Of Horror [DVD]
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Five separate horror tales, linked by the story of five men trapped in a vault beneath the Thames. The individual tales involve mysticism, vampires in an English town, the grisly end of an insurance racket, magicians, and the voodoo exploits of an artist who exacts revenge by painting the deaths of his detractors. Daniel Massey, Anna Massey, Tom Baker and Terry-Thomas star.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the 1960s and 1970s Amicus were one of the main rivals of Hammer Studios, specialising in making horror films in the `Dead Of Night' portmanteau format.
One of my favourite Amicus movies has always been this one, mainly because of its superb all-star cast. Like `Tales From The Crypt', made a year earlier, this film takes its inspiration from the old EC comics of the 1950s as well as from other Amicus productions such as `Dr Terrors House Of Horrors' and `The House That Dripped Blood'.
The set up is fairly simple: Five men congregate in an elevator but instead of stopping at each one's desired floor the elevator takes them down to a basement room where each man then tells the others their recurring nightmare...
The first story is called Midnight Mess and stars real-life brother and sister Daniel and Anna Massey. A man called Rogers tracks down his sister to a strange town and tells her that their father has died and that she will inherit everything. Unfortunately he then pulls out a switchblade knife and stabs her several times, thus ensuring that all the money will go to him instead. To celebrate his impending wealth, the evil heir-sole then goes to a local restaurant but it is no ordinary restaurant...
The second story (The Neat Job) stars the late great Terry-Thomas as a man obsessed with neatness and tidiness. When he marries a clumsy and accident-prone lady it is inevitable that it is going to end in tragedy.
The third story (This Trick'll Kill You) stars future Bond villain Curt Jurgens as an unscrupulous magician who will go to any lengths to obtain new illusions for his latest act.Read more ›
Well, what a disappointment. This has to be THE worse transfer I've come across. The original source footage seems to have come from an NTSC videotape as the picture is rife with interlacing. The colours are all washed out: blacks appear as blue and everything else is a peculiar shade of yellowish-green. There are dirt/artifacts all over the picture (probably from the grubby old film stock it was originally taken from) To compound this the aspect ratio is 4x3 and NOT 16x9 as is stated on the reverse of the pack so in the opening credits, even some of the cast names don't fit on the screen.
Considering the lovely cleaned up versions of "From Beyond The Grave", "Tales From The Crypt" and "Doctor Terror's House Of Horrors" this really is shoddy to day the least and the poor quality visuals and sound spoil any viewing pleasure.
This will be sent back for a refund.
You have been warned.
Stories revolve around vampires, bodily dismemberment, east Indian mysticism, an insurance scam, and an artist who kills by painting his victims' deaths....
These sort of movies were ten-a-penny in the seventies, and in the US, this was released as a sequel to 'Tales from the Crypt'.
As usual with these films that are stories that are really striking, and others that pale in comparison. The first and last stories are the strongest here, funny for all the wrong reasons (the vampire teeth, and Bakers beard), but still eerie enough to give you a chill.
But this is where the problem lies, the three stories in the middle, while still good, pale in comparison, and you find yourself waiting for the next chapter.
Thankfully, it has enough camp elements, even in the more slower stories to keep the viewer entertained. The segments between the stories are entertaining with the main characters giving each other a bit of 'hell',
and the final speech, with Jurgens breaking the fourth wall, makes the film that little bit better.
There are 5 stories, usually there are 4, but being that this is the shortest out of all the Amicus anthologies (1hr 22mins)the stories whip by at lightning pace. The reason i've given this only 3 stars, is that there are at least 3 other Amicus anthology movies better than this one. It's let down by 2 very mediocre stories which really disappointed me on first viewing. The best segments are the story with Curt Jurgens as a magician searching for a new magic trick in India, and the final story which stars Tom Baker as an artist who enacts revenge using voodoo on the people that have wronged him. This is one of the best stories of any of the Amicus anthologies and is worth the purchase price alone. The wraparound story isn't the best either and thematically is very simialr to the ones used in "Tales from the crypt" and "Dr Terrors house of horrors".
Ignore the grumblings about the poor picture on the Vipco release. It looks fine. Yes the picture is occasionally soft-ish, and it's in 4.3 pan and scan, but if people think this is horrendous quality then frankly they need a new pair of glasses. After reading some of the reviews i was expecting to be watching a LP VHS taped from the telly transfer but i thought it looked quite reasonable. Certainly not top notch or anything but more than watchable.
I believe there is a better transfer, and in widescreen, on a U.S Midnight movies double bill set with Tales From the Crypt, but that print is CUT, the Vipco release is UNCUT but pan and scan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of All the E.C. and E.C. Style Anthologies that Amicus produced throughout the 70's.Vault of horror is My Favourite. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mrs. D. Moncrieff
I bought this set accidentally thinking it was the Hammer version. Some of the films are fine, some of them are el cheapo productions. Good price though.Published 15 months ago by Louis Morter
this is a good film if you are into "old fashioned" b movies, it has a great cast of British actor, who were famous for their time, than they are now, that most of them... Read morePublished 15 months ago by NICOLA MATTHEWS
CONFUSED WITH ALL THESE REVIEWS? I AM! This wonderful horror film from the 70`s featuring the 4th doctor who TOM BAKER is quickly becoming lost in it`s own vault of properly... Read morePublished 15 months ago by monster room
If you're a fan of the old late night horror's of yester-year then the likes of 'vault of horror from 1973 will suit you nicely. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Azee
great little compendium of stories with very well known actors !!
good entertainment of horror films at their best from years ago