Starring: Dawn Addams, Daniel Massey, Tom Baker
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Tagline: “Everything that makes life worth LEAVING.”
“Trapped in an office building basement, five men reveal their darkest dreams in this compilation of chilling tales pulled from the E.C. Comics archives. In ‘Midnight Mess,’ a man stumbles into a restaurant after murdering his sister, only to discover that he’s surrounded by diners with an insatiable appetite for blood. But that’s only one of the terrifying gems you’ll find locked in the Vault Of Horror.“
Picked up the MGM Midnite Movies double features of Tales From The Crypt and Vault of Horror specifically for Tales. Haven’t heard much of anything about Vault Of Horror. I had no real desire to watch it, so it sat in the back of my DVD binder for a very long time. It wasn’t until I heard the “horror anthology” episode of Shock Waves (Ep. 43) that I thought I might want to expand my anthology palate a little more. Granted, I don’t believe anyone mentioned any segments from this flick on the show, but we’re gonna venture into the Vault anyway and see what we find.
- What a strange wraparound story. Five men stuck in the basement of an office building in some weird marble lounge with plenty of drinks to be had. I’d say they might have planned this all along.
- Segment 1: “Midnight Mess”
- Yo, Brits are weird. The definition of shady.
- The restaurant looks like someone turned an apartment into a cafe. The place is hideous.
- Harold (Daniel Massey) kills his sister (Anna Massey), and then gives himself a corsage! That’s cold!
- Beautiful mirror trick in the cafe, though.
- Award for worst fangs goes to “Midnight Mess.”
- Ah, we’re just talking about dreams. This wraparound is weak.
- Segment 2: “The Neat Job”
- Homeboy has a sick bar and a sick record collection. This dude rules.
- And the gap between his two front teeth is perfect for camel spitting.
- Nevermind, this dude Arthur (Terry-Thomas) needs to chill, he’s having a panic attack about moved furniture.
- Eleanor’s (Glynis Johns) reckless moving of items in this house is gonna make this dude screw up dinner. He’s already on his last leg, c’mon Eleanor.
- Oh god, this dude has a crazy way of organizing his pantry. Yet somehow, I also think its a great idea.
- Still crazy to me that “trophy wife” is a thing.
- Eleanor, you’re down a slippery slope trying to fix this broken home.
- Oh my god, the building dread of Eleanor just screwing up this whole house is insane.
- Classic EC ending.
- Segment 3: “This Trick’ll Kill You”
- I don’t think I like this dude’s magic trick delivery…
- Wait, why the hell is this tourist putting this street magician on blast?! That’s rude as shit. Isn’t there a magician’s code this dude just broke?! I’M INDIGNANT.
- Both Sebastian the rude tourist/magician (Curd Jürgens) and his wife (Dawn Addams) are really going all in on trying to get this woman’s magic trick. HOLY SHIT.
- I don’t think you ever take a dead lady’s rope, I think that’s a general rule.
- Segment 4: “Bargain In Death”
- They remade this segment as Buried with Ryan Reynolds. Not true.
- This dude Maitland (Michael Craig) faking his death for insurance money, holy cow. More vintage EC.
- “There’s no money in horror.” LOL
- Great Vault Of Horror comic placement in this segment.
- A little excessive on the Tales From The Crypt novelization placement, though.
- This one is a little farfetched because no one gets buried within 24 hours, right? That’s some crazy turnover.
- This seems to be the only one with a little comedic relief.
- Ohhhhhh Alex (Edward Judd), you double-crossin’ yella-bellly son of a bitch. HE HAD IT COMIN’.
- Great segment.
- Segment 5: “Drawn and Quartered”
- Moore’s (Tom Baker) beard is something.
- How come whenever you walk into a place of voodoo, there are tribal drums to be heard but none to be seen? That’s the magic I guess.
- Homeboy is DIPPING HIS ART HAND IN BOILING WATER I WOULDN’T. But ah, the power of voodoo.
- A vase mysteriously breaks and Moore IMMEDIATELY slices a piece of bread. Oh, it’s for an experiment, nevermind. He just seemed so determined.
- Wow, art dealers are the devil. This revenge is gonna be too sweet.
- Bob Ross jacking Moore’s style.
- There could be such a great modern day retelling of this story.
- Whoa, paint thinner.
- Gentleman’s club time is over, uh, gentlemen.
A little bit of research shows that this DVD version is an edited theatrical version, and that a few bits were edited out. I’m not sure even any added gore or scenes would have made up for the flick’s dullness. It’s hard not to compare this one to Tales, but drawing from similar source material, this anthology comes out feeling like a cheap knockoff. I will say, thank god the film was as short as it was. I enjoyed the last two segments, but all around the anthology was a little weak, even with the storylines being classic EC.