THE VAULT OF HORROR (1973)
Article 4534 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Featuring Terry-Thomas, Tom Baker, Daniel Massey
Country: UK / USA
What it is: Horror anthology
Five men find themselves trapped in an underground vault and tell their recurring dreams to each other. In the first, a man seeking to inherit a fortune stays too long on the wrong side of town. In the second, an annoyingly fastidious neatness freak drives his wife to distraction. In the third, a magician stoops to murder in order to get hold of a magic rope. In the fourth, a man plots a way to collect insurance on his own death, but the plan backfires. In the final story, an artist uses voodoo to exact revenge on those who have cheated him.
I’d have to double-check, but I suspect that this is the last of the Amicus horror anthologies that I’ll be covering for this series. Like TALES FROM THE CRYPT, the stories are taken from EC comic books, though it appears that none of them actually came from “The Vault of Horror”, though four of them did appear in “Tales from the Crypt”. It’s a decent enough anthology; none of the stories really stand out, but there aren’t any real clinkers, either. My favorite is perhaps the fourth story about the man faking his own death to claim the insurance; there’s a sense of humor to this one that somewhat sets it apart from the other stories. One advantage this movie has is that with five stories and only eighty-three minutes to tell them, none of them outstays its welcome; one disadvantage is that all five stories are basically variations on the same plot, which is about the comeuppance of a man who has succumbed to his evil impulses. I also rather like the framing story, which is rather charming in its simplicity.