From Beyond the Grave (1974), an Amicus Productions horror anthology
From Beyond the Grave is an anthology of four horror stories from Amicus. The thread connecting the four is an antiques dealer, played by Peter Cushing, who sells something in each of the stories.
The Gatecrasher, starring David Warner
Edward Charlton (David Warner) purchases an antique mirror at a reduced price. He thinks he’s swindled the proprietor. But the mirror contains an evil entity. It prompts him to commit multiple murders to “feed” it … until it can escape. And someone else has to take its’ place.
An Act of Kindness starring Ian Bannen, Dianna Dors, Donald Pleasence, Angela Pleasence
To say that Christopher Lowe (Ian Bannen) is unhappy is and understatement. He’s a middle-management drone trapped in a loveless marriage with Mabel (Diana Dors). His wife bullies him, his son disrespects him, he hates his job, and he has no friends to speak of. Then one day, he befriends Jim Underwood (Donald Pleasence), an old soldier now scratching out a living as a match and shoe lace seller.
Lowe tries to impress him by lying about his own military service. So, he tries to buy a Distinguished Service Order medal from the antique shop proprietor to sell him . When the proprietor asks for documentation to prove that he deserved it, Lowe steals the medal instead. Underwood is impressed by the medal, and invites Lowe for tea. Once there he meets Underwood’s daughter, Emily (Angela Pleasence). Over time, Lowe is seduced by Emily’s frankly rather creepy charms, and they start an affair.
In a bizarre, voodoo-like bit, Emily murders a doll representing Lowe’s wife. Who then dies. Shortly after, she and Lowe marry. But when she cuts the wedding cake …
The Elemental, starring Ian Carmichael, Margaret Leighton, Nyree Dawn Porter
An unscrupulous customer, Reggie Warren (Ian Carmichael), swaps the price tags on an expensive, and inexpensive, pair of snuff boxes. He thinks that he’s cheated the antique shop proprietor. But he clearly knows, as he rings up ‘no sale’ on his cash register. On the train ride home, a batty psychic Madame Orloff (Margaret Leighton) warnshim him he has an elemental on his shoulder. He dismisses it until, after arriving home, his dog vanishes and his wife Susan (Nyree Dawn Porter) is attacked. By something invisible. Can the batty psychic help?
The Door, starring Ian Ogilvy, Lesley-Anne Down, Jack Watson
The last of the four stories deals with someone rather different from the first three. He isn’t cheating the proprietor in any way. Although the proprieter does suspect him of stealing money from the till … Until he finishes counting the money, and realizes that all’s well. It’s a matter of good timing, as well.
William Seaton (Ian Ogilvy) is a writer who purchases an ancient ornate door. Which his wife Rosemary (Lesley-Anne Down) thinks is too fancy for a stationery cupboard. But, behind the door, there’s an evil occultist named Sir Michael Sinclair (Jack Watson). He created the door as a means to trap those who entered through it, so that Sinclair can take their souls and live forever.
To this point, it sounds very much like the first story. But, since Seaton didn’t cheat the proprietor, there’s a happy ending.
Cast of Characters
- Peter Cushing (Brides of Dracula, The Mummy 1959). The kindly of proprietor of the antique shop. Don’t mess with him …
- David Warner (Time After Time, Titanic).
- Ian Bannen
- Diana Dors (King of the Roaring Twenties)
- Donald Pleasence (The Uncanny)
- Angela Pleasence – Donald’s real-life daughter.
- Ian Carmichael
- Margaret Leighton
- Nyree Dawn Porter
- Ian Ogilvy (Witchfinder General)
- Lesley-Anne Down
- Jack Watson
Editorial review of From Beyond the Grave courtesy of Amazon.com
Bolt the door, lower the lights and settle in for a stylish five-episode supernatural shocker possessed of a shivery all-star cast and drenched in evil. Welcome to Temptations Ltd., a decrepit antique shop whose unwary customers get more than they bargain for from the wily proprietor (Peter Cushing). Much more. Go to the head of the horror class if you can predict who”ll join the ranks of the doomed from among the roll call of distinguished British actors: Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Diana Dors, Lesley-Anne Down, Margaret Leighton, Donald Pleasence, Nyree Dawn Porter, David Warner, and more. A mirror. A medal. A snuff box. An ornate door. All unleash novelty surprises for the characters -and you- in these wickedly horrific tales From Beyond the Grave.