Lovers of classic British horror will celebrate in the knowledge that Scream Factory is finally giving Amicus Productions’ “Tales from the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror” a high-definition release together in a 2-Disc double feature edition. Both movies fuse together short stories that star a gathering of top-notch genre actors reflecting on the evil deeds they’ve committed or plan to perpetrate. While not perfect films by any means, their combination of dark humor and gruesome chills make you smile as the deplorable characters onscreen get what’s coming to them.
“Tales from the Crypt / Vault of Horror” Double Feature Blu-ray includes 1080p High-Definition transfers of each film. One disc contains the widescreen versions of both movies. A second disc includes an open-matte uncut presentation and the theatrical widescreen version of “Vault of Horror.” The blood is bright and the autumn-reflected colors of the 1970s are represented well through the restored video for all the films. Nevertheless, there are moments of light flickering which apparently couldn’t be repaired or cleaned up.
Different levels of 2.0 mono audio are offered for “Tales from the Crypt” and the different versions of “Vault of Horror.” They offer a healthy platform to launch dramatic musical scores, horrific shrieks, and well-delivered dialogue by the seasoned actors out to the home audience. You might not feel surrounded in terror, but you’ll definitely sense it sneaking up on you.
Unlike most Scream Factory releases, the “Tales from the Crypt / Vault of Horror” Double Feature Blu-ray doesn’t come with much in the way of bonus material. “Tales” is completely void of any extra items. “Vault” includes a silent alternate title (“Tales from the Crypt II”) sequence and theatrical trailer. The lack of special features probably has a lot to do with the fact that most of the cast and crew for these movies are all deceased by now.
The theatrical versions of “Tales from the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror” are rated PG and R, respectively. Each movie contains violence and gore, alcohol and smoking, and intense and frightening sequences. "Vault" also has some mild language. Some scenes are rather bloody and more graphic than what we get in PG-13 horror movies these days. Granted the blood looks fake in comparison, but it’s still shocking to see.
For the most part, the stories in “Tales from the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror” are great examples of cautionary tales and lessons on how you’ll always get what you deserve in the end. My only problem with either one of the films comes in “Tales from the Crypt.” Peter Cushing, who is one of my favorite actors, uses an Ouija board and automatic writing to communicate with his dead wife. Most of the time when these supernatural tools are used onscreen, they end up causing problems. Here, it’s presented with no sort of negative consequences which could lead viewers to think it’s alright to dabble in the occult.
If you love anthology movies or classic horror, Scream Factory’s “Tales from the Crypt / Vault of Horror” Double Feature Blu-ray is a worthy addition to your home entertainment collection. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of any real special features for either one of the movies. Having them available on Blu-ray trumps any complaints, however.
“Tales from the Crypt / Vault of Horror” Double Feature is available now on Blu-ray.