Anthology film from Amicus adapted from four short stories by R. Chetwynd-Hayes strung together about an antique dealer (Peter Cushing) who owns a shop called Temptations Ltd. and the fate that befalls his customers who try to cheat him. Stories include "The Gate Crasher" with David Warner who frees an evil enity from an antique mirror, "An Act of Kindness" featuring Donald Pleasence, "The Elemental", and "The Door".
Peter Cushing ... Antique Shop Proprietor
Ian Bannen ... Christopher Lowe (segment "An Act of Kindness")
Ian Carmichael ... Reggie Warren (segment "The Elemental")
Diana Dors ... Mabel Lowe (segment "An Act of Kindness")
Margaret Leighton ... Madame Orloff (segment "The Elemental")
Donald Pleasence ... Jim Underwood (segment "An Act of Kindness")
Nyree Dawn Porter ... Susan Warren (segment "The Elemental")
David Warner ... Edward Charlton (segment "The Gate Crasher")
Ian Ogilvy ... William Seaton (segment "The Door")
Lesley-Anne Down ... Rosemary Seaton (segment "The Door")
Jack Watson ... Sir Michael Sinclair (segment "The Door")
Angela Pleasence ... Emily Underwood
Wendy Allnutt ... Pamela (segment "The Gate Crasher")
Rosalind Ayres ... Prostitute / Edward's first victim (segment "The Gate Crasher")
Tommy Godfrey ... Mr. Jeffries
Four tales of terror revolving around an antique store owned by the grim-looking Peter Cushing where various characters secure objects without paying the correct price with possible doom awaiting them.
The first shopper, Edward Charlton(David Warner)is a smug, narcissistic know-it-all who procures a creepy mirror from Cushing which houses an evil spirit awakened when a séance takes place in the young man's pad. This evil spirit requires blood and, through hypnotic suggestion, forces Edward to bring female victims back to his place for slaughter so that he can become whole leaving the eternal prison that has held him for so long.
Christopher Lowe(Ian Bannen)is an office manager stuck in a loveless marriage to Mabel(Diana Dors)where she constantly humiliates him in front of his son. He passes by Jim Underwood(Donald Pleasence), a street salesman(peddler)using his participation in the war as a means to increase his sales. Chris pretends to be some kind of would-be war hero by stealing an Infantry medal from Cushing's shop and is invited to dinner where he meets Jim's darling daughter Emily(Angela Pleasence, Donald's actual daughter)..who just happens to practice witchcraft and is more than obliged to off his wife if Chris so commands. But, she works freelance and perhaps someone else would like to use her services..
Reggie(Ian Carmichael)switches price tags on these little cases so that he can pay smaller price for classier box of the two. On board a train he meets clairvoyant Madame Orloff(Margaret Leighton, playing her eccentric psychic to the hilt and beyond)who informs Reggie he has an "elemental" on his shoulder..this elemental must be removed before it takes over his host body. Not heeding to her warnings, Reggie returns home only to realize, after it tries to strangle his wife Susan(Nyree Dawn Porter), that what Orloff said was true. In a ruckus exorcism scene, Orloff removes the evil from his shoulder as the house is destroying itself. But, despite the Madame's great efforts, the evil spirit might just find someone else to cling to..
William Seaton(Ian Ogilvy)seemingly purchases a sinister door(the film sets up the possibility that William stole some of his cash back when Cushing was off to get a receipt)which is to cover a stationary cupboard in his home. What William and his beautiful wife Rosemary(the truly lovely Lesley-Anne Down)do not expect is that, at the stroke of Midnight, behind the ominous door is a blue "ghost" room created by a man with evil intent. This spirit will seek Rosemary's soul unless William can find a way to harm him.
Before each story, a thief is planning to rob Cushing only to find that the proprietor of this antique shop isn't anyone to be trifled with.
Entertaining anthology from the always-reliable Amicus studios. Good fun for a dark, stormy night.
Amicus are famous for the anthology films, and that's hardly surprising since they made so many. The majority of the anthologies they made are entertaining, and I don't think I've ever really seen a bad one; Asylum, The Vault of Horror and The House That Dripped Blood usually, and rightly, are the highest regarded among the films that Amicus made. From Beyond the Grave is one of the lesser known anthology films; but don't let that faze you, because this collection of four short horror tales is good fun, and while I cant say this is the best Amicus omnibus, it's definitely up there! These films usually feature some sort of creepy wraparound story, and the one here focuses on an old antique store. Not very original, but the store is staffed by Peter Cushing (complete with dodgy accent!) so I could forgive the lack of originality. Cushing antique shop owner doesn't like it when people try and rip him off, but plenty of his customers do; and they all come a cropper when they discover the terrible secret of the item they've just bought (or robbed) from his store!
These films don't usually put the best story first, and this one doesn't either. The first tale, titled "The Gate Crasher" stars David Warner and has a sort of Hellraiser feel about it, as he buys an old mirror from the antique store and it turns out to be inhabited by a ghost like thing that entices Warner into bringing it fresh blood. It's not a bad story, though I feel that more could have been made of it. Story number two is the best and focuses on a man who steals a war medal from the antique store to impress a former army man and ends up getting more than he bargained for. This tale is very strange and stars Donald Pleasance in one of his weirder roles. It's imaginative and inventive, and therefore interesting as it's impossible to tell where it's going. Story number three, "The Elemental" is a fun little story, though there isn't really a great deal of point to it. The fourth and final tale would appear to be the centrepiece and focuses on an old wooden door that gives way to an expansive blue room. This is a decent little story and we get to watch Lesley-Anne Down wielding an axe, which makes it worthwhile. Overall, From Beyond the Grave is everything an anthology should be: it's fun and interesting in the right places. There's plenty of plot holes, but also no need to pay them any mind. From Beyond the Grave comes highly recommended to horror fans!
From Beyond The Grave (1973) was a cool British horror film that I saw when I was younger. Man, I saw a lot of British horror late at night when I was a kid. That's all that would come on. I grew up on these movies. I even watched them as soon as we got a V.C.R. Oh, those were the days. One of my favorite childhood actors was Peter Cushing. The Amicus company was a competitor of long time horror film stalwart Hammer. When Hammer Films was on it's last legs, Amicus picked up the slack for awhile.
These four tales that the movie adapted were taken from a couple of literary sources. The stories were creepy and it always ended up in an odd way. I wish these films were available on d.v.d. so I could relive my youth. Until they're released in the United States then I'll just have my memories.