Terror To Delight Worshippers Of The Macabre

I have just watched another Amicus Productions horror anthology, following on from my recent viewing of their “Tales From The Crypt”. This one, from 1974, was directed by Kevin Connor (“The Land That Time Forgot”) and titled “From Beyond The Grave”.

From-Beyond-the-Grave-movie-poster

Peter Cushing
Peter Cushing

The film revolves around visits to an antique shop, Temptations L, where customers come across The Proprietor (Peter Cushing – “The Curse Of Frankenstein”, “The Satanic Rites Of Dracula”). An unexpected surprise awaits anyone who cheats this shopkeeper!

Each customer’s shop visit the leads into their own separate story, of which there are four contained within the film.

David Warner
David Warner

The first tale, “The Gatecrasher”, sees Edward Charlton (David Warner – “The Omen, “The Man With Two Brains”) tricking The Proprietor into selling him an antique mirror for a knockdown price, which is then pride of place in his home.

Marcel Steiner
Marcel Steiner

One night, inspired by the gothic design of the mirror, Charlton’s friends suggest holding a séance. Charlton falls into a trance-like state in which he meets a sinister figure, The Face (Marcel Steiner “Little Dorrit”), who stabs him upon which Charlton awakes from his trance. Later he sees The Face again in the mirror demanding sacrifices so that it can feed…

Ian Bannen & Diana Dors
Ian Bannen & Diana Dors

Story two is “An Act Of Kindness”. Here we find a frustrated middle manager, Christopher Lowe (Ian Bannen – “Ghost Dad”), trapped in a loveless marriage with his domineering wife Mabel (Diana Dors – “Passport To Shame”).

Donald Pleasence
Donald Pleasence

Striking up a friendship with an old soldier turned match and shoelace seller, Jim Underwood (Donald Pleasence – “You Only Live Twice”, “The Eagle Has Landed”), he steals a Distinguished Service Order medal from the antique shop in order to support his lie that he, too, is a decorated ex-soldier.

Angela Pleasence
Angela Pleasence

Lowe then meets Underwood’s daughter Emily (Angela Pleasence – “Symptoms”) and is seduced by her. When Emily presents Lowe wife a small doll with a likeness to his wife he agrees that she should cut it with a knife, little realising that chain of events that is about to be unleashed…

Ian Carmichael
Ian Carmichael & Margaret Leighton

“The Elemental” is the third story. Reggie Warren (Ian Carmichael – “The Lady Vanishes”) switches price tags on two snuff boxes in the antique shop and pays the smaller amount for the more valuable box.

During his train journey home a seemingly mad old woman, Madame Orloff (Margaret Leighton – “Lady Caroline Lamb”) disturbs his newspaper reading to inform him that he has an Elemental on his shoulder.

Nyree Dawn Porter
Nyree Dawn Porter

Warren assumes that she is slightly loopy when she offers her services, but when his dog disappears and his wife Susan (Nyree Dawn Porter – “The Protectors”) is throttled by an unseen entity he reconsiders and calls her asking for help…

Ian Ogilvy
Ian Ogilvy

The fourth and final tale, entitled “The Door”, finds writer William Seaton (Ian Ogilvy – “Return Of The Saint”) wanting to buy an ancient ornate door in the antique shop. He hasn’t enough cash to pay the full price so agrees a reduced fee with The Proprietor. When The Proprietor goes into the back of the shop he leaves the till open, and starts to count the cash therein once Seaton has left the shop.

Back at his home, Seaton attaches the door to his stationery cupboard but finds that when he opens the door he is suddenly able to see into a blue room containing notes of an occultist.

Lesley-Anne Down
Lesley-Anne Down

Before long both Seaton and his wife Rosemary (Lesley-Anne Down – “The Pink Panther Strikes Again”, “Countess Dracula”) find themselves trapped within the influence of the door…

This last story is very similar to the first, however, the major difference is in the fact that Seaton does not steal any of the money left in the open till or attempt to cheat The Proprietor in any way and thus has a different fate.

Like “Tales From The Crypt” this is a decently put together collection of stories, though the similarities in stories one and four suggest that perhaps a different tale could have replaced one of them and improved the film as a whole…

Z FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE 3C

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