This blog is a place for Me to review classic British films (in particular horror films) by Hammer, Amicus and the like. But I will occasionally branch out and review international films as these are the international counterpart to the British films, some of which will include works by American International Pictures, Mario Bava et al. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

From Beyond The Grave

An antiques shop, Temptations Ltd, whose motto is “Offers You Cannot Resist” pays custom to four visitors, each either purchases or takes items from the store. These items include an eerie mirror, an unearned service medal, an incorrectly priced snuff box and a centuries old door. In getting these items they all seal themselves a nasty fate, in particular the ones who have cheated the shop keeper.

From Beyond The Grave is a 1973 Amicus Anthology film, it is made up of four short stories. It was Amicus' last anthology production. It was directed by Kevin Connor and stars Peter Cushing as the Shop Keeper, alongside David Warner, Diana Dors and Donald Pleasence.

I really enjoyed this film, it was Amicus' final anthology film and was a good one to end on. As with Amicus' usual theme, it's not a straight horror like Hammer films, it does have it's odd comical moments. A line that made me chuckle was when a man buys a snuff box that he has swapped the price of with another cheaper one. After paying for the snuff box for the new lower price, the shop keeper says “I hope you enjoy snuffing it.” I especially liked the way this film was different to other Amicus films, first of all it's set in a shop, as opposed to a creepy location like a vault or a crypt. I also liked the way it wasn't a person telling tales from the past or from the future, but instead took an almost linear narrative. Each customer who enters the shop and purchases an item has their tale told as a continuation from leaving the shop up until their nasty end, then the story returns to the shop ready for the next customer. My favourite character is the robber, whom each time he is about to enter the shop is interrupted by a customer going in to purchase an item, then when he eventually does get in there and attempts to rob the old man he gets more than he bargained for. There is some notably good performances from Peter Cushing, David Warner, Donald Pleasence and his daughter Angela Pleasence. But I especially liked the dark, creepy performances from Peter Cushing as the mysterious shop keeper and from Angela Pleasence who plays a woman who appears to have very little personality and just does as her father tells her. But as the story progresses we see that she's not what she seems and that she is an ominous, eerie character who practises Voodoo. This is a rather good Amicus production, it's well worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Amicus films or even just British horror cinema.

From Beyond The Grave 4/5

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