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re­leased OUT NOW! 1965 | PG | Blu-ray

Di­rec­tor Fred­die Fran­cis

Cast Pe­ter Cush­ing, Neil McCal­lum, alan Free­man, roy Cas­tle, don­ald suther­land, Christo­pher lee

From 1965 to 1974, Bri­tish stu­dio Am­i­cus Pro­duc­tions hit on a suc­cess­ful for­mat, tak­ing the an­thol­ogy hor­ror tem­plate mas­tered by 1945’s Dead Of Night and mak­ing it their own. This ef­fort was just the first of seven.

A fram­ing story sees Pe­ter Cush­ing’s mys­te­ri­ous Dr Schreck us­ing tarot cards to tell his fel­low train pas­sen­gers’ for­tunes. The five sto­ries that fol­low en­com­pass were­wolves, vam­pires, killer plants, voodoo and a dis­em­bod­ied hand.

Fea­tur­ing Christo­pher Lee as a sneery art critic, the lat­ter’s the only one that’s faintly creepy. The other four are so-so, with Mil­ton Subot­sky’s script guilty of crude in­fo­dumps and fee­ble fi­nales. But none lasts long enough to out­stay its wel­come – not even the one where Roy Cas­tle grins and prat­falls his way through a record­break­ingly daft ac­count of what hap­pens when a jazz trum­peter half-inches a voodoo chant. An ami­able cav­al­cade of non­sense.

Ex­tras An old com­men­tary with Fred­die Fran­cis; a new Mak­ing Of doc (58 min­utes); a 2012 ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Chris Lee (45 min­utes). Ian Berriman

The first an­thol­ogy hor­ror was 1932’s Un­heim­liche Geschichten, which adapted sto­ries by Poe and Steven­son.

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