Blu-ray Review “Tales From the Crypt / Vault of Horror: Double Feature”

Starring: Joan Collins, Dawn Addams, Peter Cushing, Tom Baker, Roy Dotrice, Michael Craig
Directors: Freddie Francis, Roy Ward Baker
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2014
Run Time: 175 minutes

Films: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

“Tales From the Crypt” comics are one of the main reasons, I got into horror films when I was a kid. This 1972 adaption from the comics directed by Freddie Francis (The Creeping Flesh) was a great collection of horror films on film. It boasted a great cast including Joan Collins (Empire Of The Ants), Peter Cushing (Horror Of Dracula), Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) and Sir Ralph Richardson (Rollerball). I remember the first time I saw this film by accident honestly since I thought it was a release from the HBO series and I am so glad that I did. Still holds up today for sure!

“Tales From The Crypt” Official Premise: When five unwary travelers with dark hearts stumble into a series of catacombs, they find themselves in a cavern with no way out. But the horror’s only just begun as a mysterious figure appears to reveal to each person the shocking events that will lead to their well-deserved, untimely (and unavoidable) demise. Tales From The Crypt is the original, gets-right-under-your-skin creepfest!

“Vault Of Horror” is a solid follow-up to “Tales From The Crypt” and is real draw in this release because it is available uncut for the first time on home video! It also packs a solid cast including Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Denholm Elliott (Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Curt Jurgens (The Mephisto Waltz) and Michael Craig (Mysterious Island). Like “Creepshow 2” was the “Creepshow”, it doesn’t top the first but this is a another great collection of classic horror stories, even though a little more cookie cutter.

“Vault Of Horror” Official Premise: Five unsuspecting hotel guests step into an elevator, which leads them into an underground vault. Trapped with no way out, each guest shares a gruesome tale of an encounter with death. But as the stories unfold, the men begin to suspect that their presence in the vault is no coincidence, and that the only way out…is death.

Scream Factory is behind this double feature release and it is a must for any horror fan that loves anthology films. Two great 70’s British horror films for the price of one. The 1080p transfers on both films are good. They are not outstanding but for the age of these films, the fact that they haven’t been fully restored, they look good. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio Mono tracks, which work well with the films scores. There are no special features included either but if you consider “Vault of Horror” as a bonus film, they are in good shape.

Blu-ray Review “Tales From the Crypt Presents: Ritual”

Cast: Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Daniel Lapaine, Kristen Wilson, Gabriel Casseus, Tim Curry
Director: Avi Nesher
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Miramax Echo Bridge
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 106 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

Every since I saw “Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood” back in 1996, I was eagerly waiting for what was next. I heard about “Ritual” but it was shelved due to the ended of the show on HBO and other distribution issues. I waited and waited years to see this film till around 2001, when I believe I got a bootleg online. The result? Well, its just plain ‘ole “Tales from the Crypt” fun. This third film installment of the popular HBO series “Tales From the Crypt” is actually remake of the 1943 film “I Walked with a Zombie”.

Official Synopsis: Jobless after having her medical license revoked, Dr. Alice Dodgson (Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing) accepts an offer to travel to Jamaica and treat American Paul Claybourne’s (Craig Sheffer, A River Runs Through It) mysteriously ailing brother. But immediately upon her arrival, Alice finds herself immersed in the exotic rhythm and harmony of this foreign civilization…and besieged by the locals with terrifying tales of zombies and demonic possession. As her long-held faith in science clashes with her new experiences in the supernatural, Alice must ultimately submit to the strange native culture to save her patient, while fighting to escape with her own life. Also starring Tim Curry (Kinsey).

This is the first time that this film has been released on Blu-ray.  It looks good but not great.  The video is only presented with a 1080i transfer but then again this film has never looked perfect even on DVD (when it finally got poorly released).  The audio track is also a decent yet not stunning 2.0 Stereo track.  No special features are available on this release.  So I would really recommend this to the biggest hardcore fans of “Tales from the Crypt” but otherwise, it is not anything to write home about overall.  But for the low-price, you horror fans might consider this a guilty pleasure