Tales from the Crypt – TV Shows for Halloween viewing!

It wouldn’t be Halloween without watching a couple of episodes of Tales from the Crypt!



Tales from the Crypt  (HBO)top-horror-tv-shows
The Thing from the Grave  – Season 2 episode 6


Teri Thatcher plays, Stacy, a young model with an abusive boyfriend. Her photographer wants her to get away from the bad situation and gives her the keys to his pad. That night she shows up at his place and he professes his love for her. He wants her to stay with him and gives her a necklace saying, as long as you have this gift I will be there for you when you need me. As they kiss and lay upon the bed, we see “Mitch” the abusive boyfriend outside the window spying on them. Several nights later, “Mitch” lures the photographer to his summer house in the woods where he kills him and buries him. Then Mitch confronts Stacy saying he’d like to start over and that he would forget the past if she would.

Suspicious, Stacy goes to the photographer’s place to check on him. With that, she has failed the test and Mitch brings her to the summer home to kill her too. The dead photographer hears her screams and digs his way out of the shallow grave to save her. He drags the abusive boyfriend, Mitch, back to the grave site and holds him down as he drags the loose dirt on top of them both.tales-from-the-crypt-thing-from-the-grave-sea-2-pic-17

The usual rich lighting captures the right mood for the chilling ending. The make up on the dead photographer was excellent, very corpse-like but allowing facial movement. I will admit that part of the highlight of the episode is Teri Thatcher sporting skimpy bathing suits and lingerie. Naturally that sex appeal had always been a part of the allure to Tales from the Crypt, offering the little naughty visuals allowed by cable television but not allowed on broadcast TV.

Miguel Ferrer plays the part of, Mitch, the abusive A-hole boyfriend to the hilt making us viewers really loathe his character. This is your typical Tales from the Crypt episode; a love triangle, jealousy and a murder, resulting in a return from the dead due to a promise or curse. A little bit of campy fun and highly visual horror drove the series to become a horror favorite in the early 90s and although the themes and plots were familiar tropes pulled from the comics of several decades earlier, they are still fun to watch.


Horror TV Shows – Tales From the Crypt

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My favorite horror TV Show episodes.

Tales From the Crypt – HBO
Seasons 7, episode 8
Report from the Grave

Two young scientists break into a mausoleum so Elliot can perform his experiment. His machine can retrieve left over residue from the human brain like computer code left behind on a hard drive. He seeks out the corpse of Valdemar Tymrak, butcher-type mass murderer, who wrote books about the dead. He hopes to gain some insight about Valdemar’s lost notes. Arianne is not pleased with her boyfriend’s choice of subject for the experiment, but helps him out of love and devotion. Hooking up his Tales season 7machine to Valdemar, he hears a faint signal. When he goes back to the machine Arianne puts the head device on, right as he’s boosting the power to high. She screams, then dies.

After a time of mourning and depression Elliott sets up the experiment again to see if he can resurrect the memory of his love Arianne. He gets more than that as he actually resurrects the conscious spirit of her, proving the afterlife exists. After a celebration of their love, she tells him that Valdemar is there with her, keeping her soul prisoner and keeping her from moving into the light. He wants to torture her forever. She sits up alert and nervous as she feels him coming for her reclamation. Valdemar arrives and he is one ugly, freaky, creepy, son of a bitch, wielding a curved bone-cutter knife.

This is one of my favorite episodes. The camp angle synonymous with the “Tales” series is played down and the story plays out in a serious manner. It’s a gory, bloody, ugly episode, rich with atmosphere and haunting visuals. If I was a little younger and less jaded, that creep, Valdemar would have given me cause for nightmares.

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Terror Tract (2000) – movie review

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Terror Tract (2000)

John Ritter
Bryan Cranston
Rachel York
David DeLuise

Here’s a horror anthology film that some will find entertaining. It was made in 2000 but feels like 1980s style horror tales. We have twist endings, brief nudity, past and future stars, and some good ol’ fashion story telling. It’s not going to blow you away or win any awards but it was fun to watch…at least for me.Terror_Tract_Film_Poster

John Ritter plays Bob Carter, a real estate agent in a seemingly perfect suburb. He’s showing homes to a young couple. Each home seems to be under-priced to be a deal of a lifetime. However, the agents company believes in full disclosure and John is faced with telling the twisted tragedies which had transpired within these homes. So within each home we are introduced to a new story.

A man finds his cheating wife with her lover and attempts to exact revenge, but all goes wrong and he winds up dead. That’s okay, there’s time to get them later. A father and daughter relationship gets strained when the five-year-old finds a small monkey in the yard and begs to adopt it. However there’s something rotten about this simian and the father (Bryan Cranston) goes all Heisenberg on it. A psychiatrist discovers that her patient knows a little too much about a serial killer’s methods for attacking successful single women. She signals for security but will they get there in time?

Finally, Bob reveals that he’ll loose more than his 6-figure salary if he doesn’t make a home sale this afternoon.

There are no explosions and even the make-up effects were minimal, however the tales were strong enough to keep me interested and reminded me of Tales from the Crypt. If you’re looking for a good anthology to prime you for the Halloween season, you can check out this modest film. You may find it enjoyable.

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A fun anthology of horror tropes enjoyable enough for the horror fan.

I give it 3.0 murderous stabs in the night on the good ‘ol horror staples scale!


Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood

Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood

A salute and overview

I am going to spend time reviewing most of the Amicus Films, horror and sci-fi releases. I am a big fan of Horror Anthologies and for years Amicus Films had been a name synonymous with that format of filmmaking. Before I delve into the film reviews, I thought it would be appropriate to post this history and overview of Amicus Films. Most horror fans probably know all the info max rosenberggathered here but it bares repeating from time to time, especially for younger horror fans looking to explore the roots of horror.

Amicus Films is a British film production company created by Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg in 1962. The two had previously worked together on The City of the Dead (Horror Hotel) in 1960. The first two movies by Amicus Films were teenage, rock-n-roll, drive-in style movies. Not having much success with either, they steered Amicus Films into the field of horror. Emulating the format of the popular 1945 horror film, Dead of Night, the studio produced their 1st horror anthology, Dr. Terror’s miltonsubotskyHouse of Horrors. They would follow that with more horror anthologies, horror and thriller movies, and sci-fi features. Some of the horror anthologies were written by, or based upon stories by Robert Bloch. Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror were based upon stories from the EC Horror Comics of the same names.

Many Amicus films are often mistaken for Hammer Films. The biggest difference in each studio’s productions (especially early on) was; Hammer Films production’s were gothic period pieces, but the Amicus film’s were set in present day situations. Both studios procured mutual actors (Lee, Cushing) and directors. Amicus Films Studio’s most successful film, Tales From the Crypt, would later spawn a series on HBO in the late 1980’s and several films baring the Tales From the Crypt moniker through the 1990’s.
I own all of the horror films on dvd, and about half the sci-fi films. There is also a documentary called, Amicus House of Horrors: A History…. The documentary is mostly interviews with the actors and directors.

Amicus Films: Horror

Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1964)
The Skull (1965)
Torture Garden (1967)
The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
Asylum (1972)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
The Vault of Horror (1973)
From Beyond the Grave (1974)
And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)
The Beast Must Die (1974)
Madhouse (1974)


Horror Hotel (1960)
The Uncanny (1977)
The Monster Club (1980)

Amicus Films: Sci Fi

Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)
The Deadly Bees (1966)
They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
The Terrornauts (1967)
The Land That Time Forgot (1974)
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
At the Earth’s Core (1978)


The Psychopath (1966)
Danger Route (1967)
The Birthday Party (1968) (Directed by William Friedkin)
What Became of Jack and Jill? (1971)


The Mind of Mr. Soames (1969)
A Touch of Love (1969)

Rock N Roll films:

It’s Trad, Dad! (1962) (aka Ring-a-Ding Rhythm)
Just for Fun (1963)

Christmas Horror – Christmas entertainment for the horror fan

Christmas Horror – Christmas entertainment for the horror fan
This Year’s Recommendations:

Tales from the crypt coverTales From The Crypt (1972) ‘…And All Through the House’
As far as I can tell, this was the first time a killer donned a Santa outfit to commit murders in film. In the first of five short stories, adapted from the EC Comics to make this anthology, Joanne (Joan Collins) kills her husband on Christmas Eve.  When she herself is stalked by a deranged killer who escaped from a nearby mental institution, she can’t call the police. It’s a race against time to clean up the mess she has made while trying to avoid becoming a mess herself. This was remade in the Tales From The Crypt series (HBO) but I still like this film version better.

black christmas 1974 coverBlack Christmas (1974)
Make sure you get the 1974 version directed by Bob Clark, (yes, the same guy that directed ‘A Christmas Story’). When half the campus students go home for the holidays, the remaining students are picked off, one by one, in this disturbing horror-thriller. Creepy phone calls, one eye peeking at the girls from doorways, nasty whispers in the dark, and a lot of killing; perfect for the holiday! Avoid the remake like last year’s fruit-cake – it will not only bore you to tears, but it will ruin all the good scenes that are done so well in the original.

ginger dead man coverThe Gingerdead Man (2005)
Gary Busey is a killer who comes back as a gingerbread man to exact his revenge against his accusers. He cusses and swears and slashes his way through the cast of terrible actors in this film like a redneck, Pillsbury Dough Boy, gone wild. A bunch of obvious one-liners from Busey’s gingerdead man pepper this flick with comedic joy. You’ll either laugh or be angered at this worse-than-bad, cheesy flick! Did I mention Gary Busey plays the Gingerbread man? Nuff said!

Dont open till christmas coverDon’t Open Till Christmas (1984)
If you need something to counter the never ending month of merriment, this will do the trick. Instead of a guy dressed as Santa going around and killing people, this guy goes around killing anyone who is dressed up like Santa. He stalks seedy neighborhoods through London, slashing Santas, and making a bloody mess of the holiday. And, yes, this is the infamous “Santa castrated at the urinal” movie! Not a great flick, but amusing for the number of ways the red-suits are knocked off.

Read or watch:
tales - yattering The Yattering and Jack – Tales From the Dark Side (season 4, episode 7)
Although TFTDS does a decent job with this Clive Barker tale, the Yattering is portrayed by a ‘little people’ with horns – not the imagery I had in mind when I had originally read the story in ‘Books of Blood’. I would recommend the original story or the graphic novel over this episode, but either way, this is a definitive Christmas horror story.


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Yattering - Graphic Novel Cover yattering & jack