FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE
CREATURES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE; TALES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE
The second and third stories go for a much more tongue-in-cheek tone. The second is a veritable EC Comics tale in fact, is a more successful EC-type story than Amicuss two actual EC adaptations, Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973), were. The second episode has a particularly strong cast in weak-willed Ian Bannen; Diana Dors, who is having the time of her life playing it up as the wife; and a decidedly offbeat Donald Pleasence and his very, very weird real-life daughter Angela.
The third episode is played entirely for laughs. The exorcism scenes are a wonderfully over-the-top pyrotechnic show after which it surely seems impossible to watch The Exorcist (1973) with a straight face again. Margaret Leightons performance as the batty old exorcist is side-splitting.
Where in most anthologies there usually tends to be some stories that are weaker or stronger than others, this is one occasion where all four stories are equally strong. The only failing is the weak linking story, which has to contrive to introduce antique objects that have no other purpose in the episode other than to wind in the second and third stories. The linking story also contains an awkward performance from the usually great Peter Cushing.
Amicuss other horror anthologies are: Dr Terrors House of Horrors (1964), Torture Garden (1967), The House That Dripped Blood (1970), Asylum (1972), Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973). Amicus producer Milton Subotsky later adapted more short stories from British writer Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes in his horror anthology The Monster Club (1980).
From Beyond the Grave was the directorial debut of Kevin Connor who later became a genre regular. Connor next directed Amicuss trilogy of lost world Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptations, The Land That Time Forgot (1974), At the Earths Core (1976) and The People That Time Forgot (1977), and one original lost world film Warlords of Atlantis (1978), all starring Doug McClure; the Arabian Nights fantasy Arabian Adventure (1979); the cannibalism black comedy Motel Hell (1980); and the Japanese ghost story The House Where Evil Dwells (1982). These days Connor directs for tv, making such unexceptional true life soap opera fare as Diana: Her True Story (1993), Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (1995), Mother Teresa: In the Name of Gods Poor (1997) and Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999). Among Connors genre tv fare is:- Goliath Awaits (1981), an interesting tv mini-series about a society that has survived in a sunken ship; The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1987), which brought the famous sleuth into the present-day; the Indian adventure The Mysteries of the Dark Jungle (1991); the stalker thriller Shadow of Obsession (1994); the Egyptian archaeology adventure The Seventh Scroll (1999); the Christmas fantasies Santa, Jr. (2002), A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004) and Annie Claus is Coming to Town (2011); the Hallmark adaptation of Frankenstein (2004); and Chasing Leprechauns (2012).