Vault of Horror, The (1973) d. Baker, Roy Ward (UK)
Like the previous year’s Tales from the Crypt, this Amicus anthology based upon William Gaines' EC horror comics provides a impressively solid quintet of entertaining horror yarns bound together by a laughably weak wraparound story. A building elevator takes five upper class twits to a mysterious marble-floored sitting room, so they decide to sit down and tell each other their dreams?? Puh-lease.
But the ghoulishly comic tales themselves - capably directed by Baker and efficiently scripted by producer Milton Subotsky - are loads of fun, whether it’s Daniel Massey tracking down his (on-and-offscreen) sister Anna in “A Midnight Mess,” gap-toothed obsessive Terry-Thomas driving wife Glynis Johns over the brink in “A Neat Job,” or Curt Jurgens as a magician seeking new illusions in “This Trick’ll Kill You.”
“Bargain in Death” features Michael Craig as a struggling horror writer who plans to bilk his insurance company by faking his demise, but the real showstopper is also the darkest of the bunch, “Drawn and Quartered.” In this final tale, Tom Baker (everyone’s favorite pre-David Tennant Dr. Who) stars as a brooding artist out to revenge himself against the critics and art dealers who have done him wrong.
Long missing on DVD, Vault finally popped up in 2007, paired with (naturally) Tales from the Crypt as part of MGM's Midnight Movies series.