Tales From the Crypt

1972

Tales From the Crypt

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,192
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Tales From the Crypt Photos

Movie Info

The phenomenon of Tales from the Crypt seems to have no endings, only changes. This successful pun-filled style of presenting ironic horror tales had its beginnings in William Gaine's E.C. comic series. At one time, outlandish E.C. Comics were at the heart of a national furor over the "evils" of comic books, which were thought to lead to moral degeneracy. The big comic-book publishers were frightened into freezing E.C. out of their distribution network, which killed the business. This British movie was based on the Tales from the Crypt series, which spawned several subsequent movies (and many imitators), at least one television series, and a whole new wave of comic books. Released in 1972, this movie has five episodes based on Gaines' stories, each introduced by Sir Ralph Richardson as the eerily cheery Crypt Keeper. His comedic approach to the role was misunderstood at the time, as reviewers expected a more solemn approach to horror. In "All Through the House," Santa Claus is someone to avoid. In "Reflection of Death" it takes some people a while to realize the truth about themselves. In "Poetic Justice" death cannot prevent one man's revenge. The episode "Blind Alley" demonstrates a new use for razor blades. "Wish You Were Here" cautions against taking native artifacts lightly (among other things). Among the stars featured are Peter Cushing, Joan Collins and Patrick Magee.

Cast

Ralph Richardson
as Crypt Keeper
Joan Collins
as Joanne Clayton
Peter Cushing
as Grimsdyke
Patrick Magee
as George Carter
Chloe Franks
as Carol Clayton
Ian Hendry
as Carl Maitland
Paul Clere
as Maitland's Son
Sharon Clere
as Maitland's Daughter
Susan Denny
as Mrs. Maitland
Nigel Patrick
as William Rogers
Tony Wall
as Attendant
George Herbert
as Old Blind Man
John Barrard
as Other Blind Man
Carl Bernard
as Other Blind Man
Ernest C. Jennings
as Other Blind Man
Chris Cannon
as Other Blind Man
Hugo de Vernier
as Other Blind Man
Louis Mansi
as Other Blind Man
Robin Phillips
as James Elliot
David Markham
as Edward Elliot
Edward Evans
as Mr. Ramsay
Ann Sears
as Mrs. Carter
Irene Gawne
as Mrs. Phelps
Kay Adrian
as Mrs. Davies
Clifford Earl
as Police Sergeant
Robert Hutton
as Mr. Baker
Melinda Clancy
as Miss Carter
Stafford Medhurst
as Mrs. Phelps's Son
Carlos Baker
as Mrs. Davies' Son
Richard Greene
as Ralph Jason
Roy Dotrice
as Charles Gregory
Barbara Murray
as Enid Jason
Peter Thomas
as Pallbearer
Hedger Wallace
as Detective
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News & Interviews for Tales From the Crypt

Critic Reviews for Tales From the Crypt

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3)

  • This British production looks handsome enough under Freddie Francis's direction, and for those who say they'd watch Ralph Richardson in anything, well, here's your chance.

    Jul 10, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Unfortunately, the only style exhibited by Freddie Francis, who directed the film, and Milton Subotsky, who wrote it, is in their dumb appreciation for ancient plot devices, and especially in their high-handedness with other people's stories.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5
  • It's put together something like the comic books, with the old Crypt Keeper acting as host and narrator. In the movie version, he is played with suitable ham by Ralph Richardson.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This excellent anthology of horror tales drawn from EC comics features Ralph Richardson as the crypt keeper who reveals a quintet of fearsome futures to a veteran British cast of terror troupers.

    Sep 28, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Tales from the Crypt is a wholly successful portmanteau horror film that delights in changing things up with each story.

    Sep 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The best vignette finds Peter Cushing delivering one of the best performances of his long career.

    Aug 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tales From the Crypt

  • Aug 21, 2015
    A British adaptation of the classic EC comics. The film was splendid in making the horror elements from the stories alive with excellent acting and story telling. Way better than the TV series in my opinion but at times cringe worthy due to its age.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2014
    two recognisable names in joan Collins + peter cushing, one cheesy crypt keeper, five stories & only one of which "wish you were here" packs a true dose of fear. whiles away some time!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2012
    Having seen the 'sequel' 'Vault of Horror' I was slightly disapponted with this film. It seems Amicus really got into their stride with 'Vault' and 'Asylum'. However there is still a lot to enjoy here. My favourite stories are 'Wish You Were Here' (a nice little riff of the 'Monkey's Paw' story with a chilling ending and 'Poetic Justice' that has an absolutely heartbreaking performance from Peter Cushing as a victimised old man who gets his revenge in the afterlife. 'Blind Alley' has a great denouement that the 'Saw' franchise would be proud of but is a little slow and 'All Through the House' is an almost silent film with Joan Collins covering up the consequences of a crime whilst a homicidal maniac dressed as Santa is on the prowl outside. Collins is ok but the story feels predictable and the ending is a bit of a let down. The surprise story is 'Reflections of Death' which is genuinely creepy but let down by some poor make-up effects at the end. Tying this all together is Sir Ralph Richardson phoning in his performance as a hammy monk. The stories are short and sweet and if you don't like one then another comes along quick enough. Francis directed some of the best Hammer films (including one of my favourite 'The Curse of the Werewolf') so the film looks slick and he gets good performances from everyone. What surprised me the most was that unlike 'Vault of Horror' not all of these storytellers deserve the fate that comes to them which I guess makes the film a little darker and more sinister that I expected. Overall a fun portmanteau film that would be a great double or triple bill with 'Vault' and 'Asylum'. Maybe I'll watch that collection next Halloween!
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 10, 2011
    What I want to mention the most is the story of Grimsdyke in this collection of scary stories, it is awful how this landowner treats this genuinely awesome old man yet there is such a good payoff all in all. I want to watch this movie again, the tales are timeless even if they have a heavy 70's style to them (damn those leopard print carpets).
    Greg A Super Reviewer

Tales From the Crypt Quotes

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