While taking a tour of some catacombs five people become separated from the tour. They end up in front of a strange crypt keeper who informs them of why they are there.
"...And All Through the House" On Christmas Eve Joanne Clayton (Joan Collins) murders her husband. While staging the murder as an accidental fall she hears a broadcast over the radio about a homicidal maniac (Oliver MacGreevy) having escaped from an insane asylum. The description says he is wearing a stolen Santa Claus outfit. When the maniac shows up at her house she can’t call the police until she finishes cleaning up and staging the scene. But this is Christmas and there is always a way for Santa to get into the house.
"Reflection of Death": Carl Maitland (Ian Hendry) has decided to leave his wife and kids for another woman. He and Susan Blake (Angela Grant) take off together. While driving they get into an accident. The car is burned out and Susan is nowhere. Carl walks home and finds his wife with another man. She screams when she sees him. He leaves and goes to where Susan used to live. Susan is there but she is blind from the accident. She says that he can’t be Carl because Carl died two years ago. Carl wakes up and finds it was a dream until the accident once again happens.
"Poetic Justice": Arthur Edward Grimsdyke (Peter Cushing) is an elderly man who works as a garbage collector. His wife is long dead and he spends his time with his dogs and fixing broken toys for the neighborhood children. His neighbor James Elliott (Robin Phillips) and his father Edward (David Markham) live across the road. James thinks he’s better than the old man and hates having Arthur as a neighbor. James has an evil streak in him. Determined to get rid of him he proceeds to make the old man’s life miserable. Arthur finally commits suicide but he isn’t gone forever.
"Wish You Were Here": Ralph Jason (Richard Greene) is a horrible business man. Having squandered his and other people’s money he is broke and may have to sell his possessions. His wife Enid (Barbara Murray) notices and inscription on a statue they got in Hong Kong. The inscription says that they have three wishes. Ralph remembers the story of the monkey’s paw and warns his wife that wishes can come with strings. She doesn’t really believe any of it and casually wishes for lots of money. One his way to see his lawyer Ralph dies in a car accident. She then finds out he had a large insurance policy. Enid now believes that the statue is real. She knows that she must be careful with her other two remaining wishes.
"Blind Alleys": Major William Rogers (Nigel Patrick) is the new director of the home for the blind. The Major and his dog Shane are quite comfortable with warmth, food, wine and every comfort while the blind residents shiver in the night with no heat and eat watered down soup. Complaints get them nowhere. When one of the men dies from the cold the other residents take matters into their own hands to reverse the situation.
“Tales from the Crypt” was released in 1972 and was directed by Freddie Francis. It is a five story British portmanteau produced by Amicus Productions. The stories were taken from various comics.
All the stories are good in many ways; the acting, the production values and the cinematography are all wonderful. None of them waste time or bog down. Even the opening and closing credits are fun with Dr. Phibes style organ music. Amicus is well known for its anthologies. They did seven all together, each one a standalone film. “Tales from the Crypt” was their fifth endeavor.