From Beyond the Grave centres around the mysterious and slightly malevolent back-alley antique and oddments shop
As with most anthology films, not all the stories in From Beyond the Grave are created equal; in fact, the two bookending chapters, "The Gatecrasher" and "The Door", are essentially the same story of a centuries old spirit trying to break on through from the other side, just wrapped up in different details. The most touching yarn (as well as the most chilling) is "An Act of Kindness" in which a frustrated man (Ian Bannen) trapped in an unfulfilling marriage happens upon a street vendor (Donald Pleasance) and the two strike up a friendship based on their military history (though Bannen is lying about his). After increased meetings at Pleasance's home and a growing familiarity with his creepy semi-lobotomized daughter (an effectively eerie turn by Donald's real-life daughter, Angela), things take a dark turn and, needless to say, it doesn't end well for ol' Bannen (or his wife).
The other three tales are wonderfully frightful, and a special mention must go to Margaret Leighton's grandiose medium Madame Orloff in "The Elemental". The best performance - and one of the main reasons for watching - belongs to Cushing, whose sly, knowing proprietor is at once bumbling and malefic.
Low production values are well-hidden, and like I mentioned, staging the tales in the present day allows for much budget-shortfall overcoming. Overall, a worthy anthology, and if you are a fan of the format, you'll certainly find lots to tempt you in here. Come in, come in...
Oh yeah, we don't have this at either store, so if you want to see it, you'll have to ask me. Or buy it on AMAZON.CA!