Tales from the Crypt (1972) - Freddie Francis

Tales from the Crypt brings the EC Comic publication to the big screen in a decent anthology horror movie. Just like in the comic books you are presented these stories by the Crypt Keeper. Not as cool or grotesque looking as the Crypt Keeper that most will remember, but creepy none the less.

The main storyline follows a group of people that are on a tour of the Crypts in Britain. They get lost and wander into a strange room and are introduced to our host. He presents each of them with a tale.

...And all through the house. 
This is the cream of the crop. A escaped, psychotic, mental patient is stalking a woman that had just killed her husband in her house. It is christmas time and naturally the mental patient is wearing a Santa suit. This is the scariest of the movie. The actor playing the escapee did a great job. He was really frightening.

Reflection of Death
A man that is leaving his family for his mistress  is haunted by a mysterious nightmare that prophesies his own death. This short is really good too. This movie is picking up some steam. Cool effects and an equally cool story.

Poetic Justice
A poor old man, that loves his community and helps the children. Is harassed by a corporation that wants to drive him off of his property. They stoop to all sorts of levels. They finally push him too far and he ends up getting his form of revenge. This was again a great piece. So far the first was the best but this is a good movie so far.

Wish You Were Here
This is kind of a comedic piece. It follows a down on their luck, couple that finds an ancient chinese figurine that grants three wishes. When wishes are involved it is never a good time for anyone. They wish for fortune, the husband dies. Enid, the wife, believes he was hit by a bus and she wishes him back the way he was just before he was hit. He died of a heart attack just before he was hit, he dies again. She wishes for him to live forever. However, his blood has been replaced by embalming fluid. Now he lives forever in pain. Just goes to show that you can't trust anything that gives you wishes in a horror movie.

Blind Alleys
The last story has to do with a slumlord. The slumlord puts his tenants through hell, he makes drastic cuts to the building to "save money". He starves and freezes his tenants, while he lives in the lap of luxury. When people start dying, the tenants decide to get their revenge. They set the slummy building up like a maze and sick his own starving dogs on him. This story was creepy. I remember watching it as a kid and being really scared of the dogs.

This movie is pretty fantastic. I saw it as a young kid during the eighties, and then hadn't watched it again since then. I decided to pick it up and give it a watch. I didn't dislike it. The movie was creepy and scary. It really did its job. It may be predictable, but it is the creepiest thing from the early seventies.

Who's next? Perhaps... you?


  • Peter Cushing is said to "act as himself" in this movie: Cushing's wife had died recently and he was very depressed; while Cushing's character is a widower who uses a ouija to talk with his dead wife.
  • Robert Zemeckis has said this is his favorite movie to watch on Halloween since it was released. he later produced a HBO show based off the comic series and directed the first episode, which was also the first story in the movie.
  • Only two stories in this film - "Reflection of Death" and "Blind Alleys" - originally appeared in EC Comics' "Tales from the Crypt." "...And All Through the House" appeared in "The Vault of Horror" and "Poetic Justice" and "Wish You Were Here" both appeared in "The Haunt of Fear."