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The Vault of Horror (1973)

R | | Horror | 30 March 1973 (USA)
An anthology of five horror stories shared by five men trapped in the basement of an office building.

Director:

Roy Ward Baker

Writers:

Al Feldstein (based on the stories written by), William M. Gaines (based on the stories written by) (as Bill Gaines) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Massey ... Rogers (segment "Midnight Mess")
Anna Massey ... Donna (segment "Midnight Mess")
Mike Pratt ... Clive (segment "Midnight Mess") (as Michael Pratt)
Erik Chitty ... Old Waiter (segment "Midnight Mess")
Jerold Wells ... Waiter (segment "Midnight Mess")
Terry-Thomas ... Critchit (segment "The Neat Job")
Glynis Johns ... Eleanor (segment "The Neat Job")
Marianne Stone ... Jane (segment "The Neat Job")
John Forbes-Robertson ... Wilson (segment "The Neat Job")
Curd Jürgens ... Sebastian (segment "This Trick'll Kill You") (as Curt Jurgens)
Dawn Addams ... Inez (segment "This Trick'll Kill You")
Jasmina Hilton ... Indian Girl (segment "This Trick'll Kill You")
Ishaq Bux ... Fakir (segment "This Trick'll Kill You")
Michael Craig ... Maitland (segment "Bargain in Death")
Edward Judd ... Alex (segment "Bargain in Death")
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Storyline

Five strangers board a descending lift, one by one, in a modern office block in London. They reach the sub-basement, though none of them have pressed for that destination. There they find a large, elaborately furnished room that appears to be a gentlemen's club. The lift door has closed; there are no buttons to bring it back, nor any other exit. Resigned to waiting for help, they settle down with drinks and talk. The conversation turns to dreams, and each man tells of a recurring nightmare.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Below the Crypt lies Death's waiting-room - The . . . Vault of Horror See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vault of Horror See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 48 mins) As he prepares to take his fake overdose the paperback book Michael Craig is reading is the film tie-in to Tales from the Crypt (1972). See more »

Goofs

(at around 57 mins) The first thing seen in the voodoo hut is a mask obviously meant to be of Haitian origin, though it's actually of Pacific Northwestern Native American origin. See more »

Quotes

Sebastian (segment 3 "This Trick'll Kill You"): That's how it is and how it always will be.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK version, also originally shown in US theaters with an R rating, differs from the version used for the Nostalgia Merchant videotape and pay-TV showings as follows:
  • Tale 1: Full-motion scene of Daniel Massey hung upside down with a tap in his neck, shuddering as the waiter pours glasses of blood and hands them out. In the cut version, entire section replaced by a still frame of same.
  • Tale 2: After Glynnis Johns hits Terry-Thomas on the head with a hammer, blood spurts out, and he falls backward out of frame. The cut version becomes a still frame when the hammer makes contact with the head. The ending shows four shelves of her husband's body parts neatly preserved in jars, including one labeled "Odds and Ends". The cut version shows only the first two shelves.
  • Tale 5: When the publisher gets his hands chopped off by the paper cutter, the camera dollies in as he continues screaming, holding out his bleeding stumps.
See more »

Connections

Follows Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Subtle Horror Despite a Couple Hands Chopped Off
15 January 2003 | by damonfosterSee all my reviews

Since I first saw photos of it when I was a little kid, I wanted to see this early 1970s horror movie from the same British who brought us TALES OF THE CRYPT. When I was like 7 or 8 years old, I was a little chilled by the photo of the man hanging upside-down and a vampire has connected a tap-fawcet to the unfortunate bloke's neck! Sadly, this scene happens in VAULT OF HORROR (1973) exactly as it did in magazine oldies like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and THE MONSTER TIMES: It's a still shot! That's right, a single photo of the fanged villain and his victim! It's done this way for dramatic effect and seems to work, but I had already seen the exact same thing in printed form!

However, this is not to say I was disapointed. This series of stories is very interesting, with intriguing characters throughout. The ending is predictable to anybody who's already seen TALES OF THE CRYPT, but there's a nifty gore seen earlier in the film where a guy's hands get chopped off. As is often the case with British horror, the emphasis is more on drama than sheer terror-- but it's all pretty entertaining.


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