Triple SoH Reviews: Tales from the Crypt (1972), Altered States (1980) and All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

I’ve done these posts in the past before and if you’re interested in reading more than two reviews under one post, I’ll link it here! But I’ve been on a watching kick lately, I’m not sure why or this extra energy came from but I did watch 3 very different films basically one week after another and even though I’ve logged and short reviewed them on my Letterboxd, I think I should kinda do the same here but be a bit more thorough?

Also I’m so exhausted from escapril, reading and finishing The Vampire Lestat, my doll room creation and basic survival so this is pretty quick and easy to do.

Oh spoilers beware?

Let’s start with the recent watch today (4/25) of Tales from the Crypt (1972). This is an anthology film based off of the EC comics which would eventually become a television series on HBO (1989). So within this, we get five different segments excluding the intro and conclusion (wrap arounds) and some are better than others in my opinion. One I immediately recognized is the first segment “And All Through the House” which is the very first episode of the television series and I liked this story a lot. I enjoyed Joan Collins playing our lead protagonist? Antagonist? Well, I mean she does kill her husband and tries to get away with it when a maniac is on the loose, dressed like Santa Claus. If you’ve seen the episode, it is the same thing except we actually see the maniac go and tackle Joanne Clayton (Collins). The Santa Claus isn’t as terrifying or disgusting as the one in the tv series, but still creepy. talesfromthecrypt_2

I did enjoy that one as well as “Reflection of Death ” which I felt was too short and it could have been fleshed out more. “Poetic Justice” I liked as well, really for Peter Cushing, but again, it felt either a bit too long than it should have been or I would have liked to see more looks into Cushing’s character dabbling in the dark magic more. The ending was pretty great, and he looked cool as the zombie (I assume that was him under the makeup). “Wish You Were Here” was basically a retelling of The Monkey’s Paw with a bit of a twist and the final story is “Blind Alleys” which kind of reminds me a bit of Creepshow’sThey’re Creeping Up on You” with an abusive person in power, a rebellion and a lot of razor blades.

The last two segments weren’t my favorite(s) but 3 out of 5 is not bad. Plus, I didn’t mind the intro and ending where our five characters are basically dead and sent to be in hell (or purgatory). The downside is I guess the “cryptkeeper” was kind of meh.

Tales from the Crypt stars Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene, Ian Hendry, Patrick Magee, Barbara Murray, Nigel Patrick, Robin Phillips and Ralph Richardson. It was directed by Freddie Francis. I think I gave a 4 out of 5? It was between 3.5 to 4. 

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Prior to that, I watched Altered States (1980) on the 17th which I remembered was featured in “In Search of Darkness Part III” and it was a spur of the moment watch. And it is a true psychological horror cause half of that stuff I saw made me go “what” and question things. Like is this what we the audience is also experiencing along with our lead antagonist in William Hurt (playing Edward Jessup) or is it all in HIS head and we’ll be watching the fallout? It’s like Jacob’s Ladder (1990) in the manner of what is truly seen. alteredstates_2

The plot is basically Jessup, along with his university lab partners doing experiments and studies on “other states of consciousness” thus the main title (also based on the book Altered States by Paddy Chayefsky). The film just shows us the many highs and many, many, lows of Jessup’s moments within the tank, his travels to experience the craziest set of “roots” and his marriage falling apart. It got really weird and I liked it. 

Altered States stars William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban (who reminded me of Richard Dreyfuss at times) and was directed by Ken Russell. I gave this movie 4 stars out of 5.

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And ironically 2 days prior, the beginnings of Art the Clown in 2013’s All Hallows’ Eve which oh man, I have mixed feelings with. The movie has 3 different stories within the main story: A babysitter is watching two young kids, maybe between the ages 11-13 on Halloween, and someone slipped a vhs tape into one of the candy bags. And well, what’s on the tape are 3 different tales, all surrounding the villain Art the Clown. The downside is that the stories aren’t that special. I was going to say not memorable too but that’s a lie, as perverse as they are. And out of all 3 of them, the last one was my favorite even though the ending was like “really?” allhallowseve_2

The standout is really Art the Clown, the character, the idea of him. Though I think he’s more of a mime than a clown but he is why Terrifier and Terrifier 2 works and I see the foundation and potential of this world through director Damien Leone’s eyes. I think I gave this movie 3 out of 5 stars on Letterboxd, I’ll keep it. All Hallows’ Eve stars Katie Maguire, Catherine Callahan, Marie Maser, Kayla Lian and Mike Giannel.


So what movies have you seen lately? Leave a comment below! I might check it out myself!

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