Vault of Horror [1973]

The Vault of Horror is a 1973 horror anthology film from Amicus studios. It features five men who take an
elevator down to the basement of an office building, where they find that they are trapped. They each proceed to tell a story
about a dream they had of their own death. The five stories are told in flashback: a man visits his sister in a strange town, and 
finds that the locals are not what they seem; a newly married man insists on an ordered and neat lifestyle, but his wife is just
too messy for his liking; a couple in India will go to any lengths to obtain the secret of a woman's magic trick; a man fakes his
death in order to claim on the insurance, but finds that his partner in fraud cannot be trusted; and an artist who was cheated by
art dealers and critics uses voodoo to get his revenge. The final scene reveals why the men have been brought to the vault.

Tom Baker stars as an artist named Moore in the final segment, entitled 'Drawn and Quartered'. He visits a witchdoctor in
Haiti after a friend tells him that his paintings are selling for large sums of money, although he has been told by "experts" that
they are no good and worthless. Moore discovers that the voodoo powers given to him by the witchdoctor means that whatever
happens to a painting also befalls the subject of that painting. He draws a picture of a vase, for example, and when he tears it
up the vase breaks. Moore returns to London to enact his revenge on the three men who cheated him. He paints portraits of
them, and uses the voodoo powers to ensure that they each meet grisly ends. But he should never have painted a self-portrait.
The Vault of Horror is typical of the Amicus films, with the horror elements very much understated. In fact, most
of the stories feature black humour rather than outright horror, and only the Tom Baker story has any scenes that feature any 
graphic violence (a man getting his hands cut off in a paper guillotine). The Tom Baker story is the highlight of the anthology,
although like most of the stories, you can easily guess how it will end well before the final scene of the segment. Tom himself
is perfectly cast as the brooding artist who is determined to get his revenge. In short, 80 minutes of entertaining fun that should not give
anybody nightmares. Unless of course, the viewer is very young.

Moore: Benton Breedley, art critic,
you saw my pictures and you lied about
them to the public. Now, Mr Art Critic,
you will never see another painting again.
Video Clips:  Witchdoctor        (7.7mb)
                     Moore's revenge  (11.4mb)
                     Killer portrait       (11.3mb)

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