FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (1973)




FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE video artwork






PETER CUSHING.....Proprietor of Temptations Ltd.
DONALD PLEASENCE.....Jim Underwood
DAVID WARNER.....Edward Charlton
IAN BANNEN.....Christopher Lowe
DIANA DORS.....Mabel Lowe
IAN CARMICHAEL.....Reginald "Reggie" Warren
MARGARET LEIGHTON.....Madame Orloff
ANGELA PLEASENCE.....Emily Underwood

Directed by KEVIN CONNOR
Written by ROBIN CLARKE and RAYMOND CHRISTODOULOU
Produced by MAX J. ROSENBERG and MILTON SUBOTSKY


REVIEW BY GENE SISKEL



Just what we've always needed: an English horror film that plays like a warning from an antiques dealers' association. From Beyond the Grave is one of those horror flicks that consists of four short stories revolving around a common theme. In this case, sharpie shoppers in a musky English antiques shop are punished for cheating the proprietor [Peter Cushing], who may be the devil. The shop is called Temptations Limited.

Producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky have made a number of these four-part efforts [Tales From the Crypt, a co-feature at the Roosevelt, is one]. From Beyond the Grave, made in 1973, never received distribution from its original sponsor, Warner Bros.

It's easy to see why. Only one of the four stories manages to hold interest, and much of that is due to its lack of competition.

The four stories involve a man committing knife murders at the behest of an evil spirit trapped inside a 400-year-old mirror; an unhappily married man [Ian Bannen looking very much like G. Gordon Liddy] doing away with his wife because he's fallen for an apparently submissive younger woman; the exorcism of an infectious spirit by a rare medium [this is the best episode]; and the entrapment of a young couple behind an ornate wooden door that pines to be reopened.

Rosenberg-Subotsky films typically feature an all-star British cast in a series of cameo roles. Peter Cushing is his usual shallow-cheeked self as the retributive shop owner; Margaret Leighton steals the entire show as a kooky exorcist who sends furniture flying while beating the devil out of Ian Carmichael. The voice she adopts is a ringer for that of Julia Child.

From Beyond the Grave is not a heavy horror film; maybe that's why Warners found it wanting in the marketplace. These days, an audience raised on a diet of The Exorcist, Jaws, and assorted mayhem flicks may find From Beyond the Grave to be quaint, but not very frightening.



Review © 1975 CHICAGO TRIBUNE. All Rights Reserved.

Video artwork © 1986 WARNER BROS. HOME VIDEO. All Rights Reserved.

Title and logo designed by Karen Rappaport




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