The EC way out

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1973 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD

Di­rec­tor Roy Ward Baker

Cast Tom Baker, Curt Jur­gens,

Terry- Thomas, Denholm El­liott

Dis­mem­ber­ment. Rit­ual mur­der. Pre­ma­ture burial. The good things in life. And all cel­e­brated in this port­man­teau chiller from Am­i­cus, masters of the se­lec­tion box prin­ci­ple when it comes to hor­ror movies – if you don’t care for the Coffee Scream then don’t fret, for the Straw­berry Heart is leak­ing real blood.

Five men find them­selves rid­ing a lift to a strange base­ment room. They share their dis­turb­ing dreams, cue­ing five tales adapted from the lurid pages of EC Comics, whose dime­store chills sparked a moral panic in ’ 50s Amer­ica.

Full of grisly pay- offs and mor­dant hu­mour, the movie takes EC’s wink­ing sense of grotes­querie and mar­ries it with that cheap’n’ cosy Twick­en­ham Stu­dios vibe of the early ’ 70s. Arch cad Ter­ryThomas, fu­ture Bond vil­lain Curt Jur­gens and an in­tense, bearded, pre- Who Tom Baker carry th­ese en­ter­tain­ing sto­ries of vam­pirism, voodoo and the wife’s knick­ers. Baker’s tale of a vengeance- ob­sessed painter has a gen­uine shud­der.

Nat­u­rally there’s an ex­is­ten­tial zinger at the end. But given the cover of this re­lease de­clares “Death’s wait­ing room” in big, friendly let­ters you may be ahead of the game…

Ex­tras None. Nick Setch­field

The ti­tle’s mis­lead­ing. The sto­ries ran in Tales From The Crypt and Shock Sus­pen Sto­ries, not Vault Of Hor­ror.

Maybe it has “This is a fake” on the back.

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