From Beyond The Grave
| 97 MINS | COLOUR | AMICUS |
If anyone cheats the shop’s proprietor at Temptations Ltd, a nasty fate awaits them. Four customers purchase items:-
(1.) The Gatecrasher: Edward Charlton tricks the proprietor into believing an antique mirror is a reproduction in order to get a lower price. After Edward holds a seance, a mysterious figure appears in the mirror.
(2.) An Act of Kindness: Christopher Lowe, a bored office worker and henpecked husband, befriends a match and shoelace seller, Jim Underwood. Christopher finds that Jim is a decorated soldier, and in an attempt to impress him tries to buy a war medal from the antique shop proprietor. Not having the required paperwork to purchase the medal, he instead steals it. After ingratiating himself with Lowe, he finds that the old soldier is less innocent than he at first thought.
(3.) The Elemental: After tricking the proprietor into buying a cheap snuff box, Reggie Warren, a pompous businessman, boards a train. On the train a woman known as Madame Orloff informs him that he has an Elemental on his shoulder. When he gets back to his house, he discovers that the Elemental has followed him there.
(4.) The Door: William Seaton, a writer, buys an antique door from the proprietor. When he takes it back home, he finds that a mysterious blue room lies behind the door. It begins to exert such a strong influence over him that it threatens his very soul.
(1.) The Gatecrasher: The mysterious figure orders Charlton to kill so that he can “feed”. After killing a number of people, the figure manifests itself outside the mirror. The figure persuades Charlton to kill himself with a knife. With this Charlton appears in the mirror, awaiting the next time someone holds a seance so that he can be set free.
(2.) An Act of Kindness: Christopher Lowe is bullied by his domineering wife, Mabel, and begins an affair with Jim Underwood’s daughter, Emily. Emily kills Mabel by voodoo. Later, Lowe and Emily marry. Lowe’s son attends the wedding. When the time comes to cut the cake, Emily asks all present whether they wish her to. They all agree and Emily brings the knife down but on the head of the decorative groom. Blood pours out of it, and Lowe falls down dead. Underwood and Emily explain to Lowe’s son that they always answer the prayers of a child.
(3.) The Elemental: Warren dismisses Madame Orloff’s warnings, but has cause to call on her services when his dog disappears and his wife is attacked and choked by an unseen force. Orloff exorcises the Elemental from Warrens’ home, and all seems well; even the dog returns. Later though the Warrens hear noises upstairs, and Reggie heads up to investigate. He is knocked down and falls to the foot of the stairs, unconscious. When he wakes, he finds Susan possessed by the Elemental. It says Reggie tried to deny her life, and kills him.
(4.) The Door: In the blue room Seaton finds the notes of Sir Michael Sinclair, an evil occultist who created the door as a means to trap those who enter through it, take their souls and live forever. When Seaton tries to leave his house he finds that the door’s influence has spread, and he and his wife are trapped. Rosemary enters the room in a trance where she is incapacitated by Sinclair. Seaton starts to smash the door with an axe, and the room and Sinclair start to crumble. Seaton tries to rescue Rosemary, but is attacked by Sinclair. They continue demolishing the door, destroying the room and turning the occultist to a skeleton and then dust when they break the door from its hinges. Back at the shop, the Proprietor finds Seaton’s money all present and correct.
BritishHorrorFilms: What’s great about all of these stories is that they are intelligent, well-written, and scary stuff – without resorting to chucking gallons of blood about.
DvdDrive-In: The stories are implemented well and not at all gimmicky, with only The Elemental allowing itself to be humorous with winning results.
Classic-Horror: The acting is top-drawer, the direction is solid, and the stories, if not astounding, are enjoyable vignettes of horror.
Proprietor: Ay, customers, come in, come in. I’m sure I have the very thing to tempt you. Lots of bargains. All tastes catered to. Oh… and a big novelty surprise goes with every purchase. Do come in… any time. I’m always open.
- Directed by Freddie Francis
- Produced by Max Rosenberg & Milton Subotsky
- Music by Elizabeth Lutyens
- Cinematography Alan Hume
- Production company Amicus Productions
- Based on stories by R. Chetwynd-Hayes.
- Donald Sutherland was paid 1,000 pounds for his performance.
Peter Cushing — Antique Shop Proprietor | Ian Bannen — Christopher Lowe (An Act of Kindness) | Ian Carmichael — Reggie Warren (The Elemental) | Diana Dors — Mabel Lowe (An Act of Kindness) | Margaret Leighton — Madame Orloff (The Elemental) | Donald Pleasence — Jim Underwood (An Act of Kindness) | Nyree Dawn Porter — Susan Warren (The Elemental) | David Warner — Edward Charlton (The Gate Crasher) | Ian Ogilvy — William Seaton (The Door) | Lesley-Anne Down — Rosemary Seaton (The Door) | Jack Watson — Sir Michael Sinclair (The Door) | Angela Pleasence — Emily Underwood (An Act of Kindness) | Wendy Allnutt — Pamela (The Gate Crasher) | Rosalind Ayres — Prostitute(The Gate Crasher) | Tommy Godfrey — Mr. Jeffries