Directed by Kevin Connor [Other horror films: Motel Hell (1980), The House Where Evil Dwells (1982), Frankenstein (2004)]
I’ve not seen nearly all of the Amicus anthology horror films yet, but this being the final one they released, I was expecting something more. Unfortunately, this felt like leftover stories from previous films, and I hate to say that almost nothing here was up to the standards that I really expected.
None of the stories here were on par with the best stories from, say, Tales from the Crypt or Vault of Horror, or even The House That Dripped Blood (which was a bit more average than the first two listed). I guess that, if I had to pick a favorite story, I might go ‘An Act of Kindess,’ but even that one didn’t really hit the spot.
Of the five stories, that’s a common complaint. I don’t think any of them are actually bad, but all of them feel like they’re missing something, which is unfortunate, given that, like every Amicus anthology I’ve seen, this one possesses a decent cast.
Peter Cushing (who is a favorite of mine, with the various horror films he’s been in) was solid in his role, and I liked his corny finish, as he’s speaking to the audience. David Warner (The Omen and Nightwing) was fine, but his character didn’t really have much depth, and the story he was featured in (‘The Gate Crasher’) was the definition of average. And as for Donald Pleasance, I loved seeing him here, but I didn’t really get what his character was supposed to be, which isn’t on him, but just the nature of his story ‘An Act of Kindness.’
Only a few others really stand out, such as Ian Carmichael, Margaret Leighton (who was by far the funniest performance in the film) and Ian Banner, which isn’t a problem, as I doubt that more solid performances would have really helped when the stories were all varying degrees of lack-luster.
From Beyond the Grave, being Amicus’ final anthology horror outing, was a disappointment, and more of a disappointment than I’d have really believed possible from Amicus. I wasn’t a fan of Torture Garden, but that was early on for them, and it seemed that by Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror that they found a good balance with their stories. This one didn’t cut it, though.