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JACK OLECK
adapted from the screenplay by Milton Subotsky
Tales From The Crypt


click to enlarge

Bantam Books, New York, 1972
(price: 30p; 122 pages)


The blurb on the back:

Trapped in catacombs that smelled of ancient death, five forsaken men and women poured out the foul secrets of their fetid souls to a strange, sinister, black-robed monk.
Maitland...forever doomed to a living, waking nightmare. Joanne...who wanted one thing from Santa Claus - murder. Elliot...this heartless young man received visitors from beyond the grave. Rogers...he treated the blind and helpless like dogs; they turned the tables with razor-sharp vengeance. Jason...returned and returned and returned - from the dead.
Five tormented people.
Five terrible confessions.
ONE long scream of terror at the end.


How's this for a cast list, then: Ralph Richardson, Peter Cushing, Joan Collins, Richard Greene, Ian Hendry, Roy Dotrice... That's the kind of line-up you want in a horror movie. The film is a typical short story collection of the kind that the production company Amicus used to bring us on a regular basis: five tales adapted from the old EC comics Tales From the Crypt and The Vault of Horror.

The script was originally by producer Milton Subotsky (who also gave us such treasures as Rock Rock Rock, Dr Who and the Daleks and It's Trad, Dad), but here it's adapted by another veteran of US popular culture, Jack Oleck, who was writing novels as far back as 1950, when Messalina was published. It's workmanlike, but not particularly essential. Maybe it's too far removed from the original inspiration - stories adapted from a screenplay adapted from a comic - but, compared to the early-1970s Pan horror collections for example, it's nothing special.


The horror, the horror...


from the creator of:

The Vault of Horror


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
1/5


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