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Best Anthology Stories

Chris' Picks:

"BLIND ALLEYS" from Tales from the Crypt

I realize that the name Tales From The Crypt is mostly associated with the comic books and the HBO television series but it was also a quite excellent 1972 anthology flick produced by Amicus and while most people point at the Joan Collins starring tale of a psycho Santa Claus I happened to love this story better as Patrick Magee learns the hard way it's not cool to piss off blind people - let's just say it involves some nastiness that includes razor blades.

"FATHER'S DAY" from Creepshow

"It's father's day Bedelia and I want my cake!!" This story was a heck of a way to kick off a horror fan's dream collaboration between Stephen King and George A. Romero and it contains enough dark humour and rotting zombies to please me immensely. Even a later story involving cockroaches en masse couldn't top this one.

"NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET" from Twilight Zone: The Movie

Lots of people hate plane rides but imagine one of these nervous, angst filled passengers (in this case John Lithgow) happens to see a nasty gremlin on the wing damaging the plane. That's the premise here and it's played completely straight with decent creature effects while Lithgow goes pleasingly over-the-top.

"METHOD FOR MURDER" from The House That Dripped Blood

As one of Amicus' lesser known anthology flicks (which is surprising since the company cranked out quite a few) this Robert Bloch scripted flick opens with author Denholm Elliott going to a remote house to get over his writer's block only for the villain of his newest work to haunt him. There's also a decent twist here but what's most interesting is how this pre-dated Stephen King's similar "The Dark Half" by quite a few years.

"GOLDI LOX AND THE THREE BAERS" from Deadtime Stories

I wanted to include a lesser, low-budget anthology movie here and it was between this and the fly obsessed kid in The Willies. But when all was said and done this demented take on the classic fairy tale is my last choice just for being completely off-beat and throwing together a girl with ESP (and big boobs) and some escaped convicts with campy results.

Josh's Picks

"NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET" from Twilight Zone: The Movie

Let it be known that to this day when I am flying on an airplane at night, I still expect to see a freaky gremlin running around on the wing and wreaking havoc. The tension and anxiety caused by both the monster and John Lithgow's sweaty, panicked performance will increase your heart rate and bolster any fear of flying that you may have. George Miller gives us the scariest anthology segment of the 80's and delivers a take on this tale that is miles above the version from the original series. This is based on a short story by Richard Matheson.

"THE RAFT" from Creepshow 2

Although the original Creepshow is one of the best anthology films ever made, I have to say that this story from the sequel is the best from the series. It's a shame that it was not a part of the original. A group of teenagers swim out to a raft on a lake only to be attacked by a flesh-eating black oily slime. The acting in this segment is a little wooden but once the slime appears, you don't care. The effects are messy in a good way and the tension mounts as the teens try to get back to shore. This was based on a short story by Stephen King.


It is difficult to choose one story from Creepshow as they are all so good but this one slightly edged out "Father's Day" as my favorite from the film. Ted Danson and Gaylen Ross (Dawn of the Dead) are lovers who are caught by her jealous husband (Leslie Nielsen). He buries them to their heads on a beach and allows them to drown when the tide comes in. Little does he know that they will be back to exact their revenge. This one has a villain that you love to hate, some creepy water zombies, and a great idea that make it the story I always end up liking the best even after seeing the movie so many times.

"B-17" from Heavy Metal

This tale from the animated classic gave me nightmares when I was a kid. I still remember my friends Craig and Robin were over and we watched this on pay TV. I couldn't go to sleep that night thinking about the World War II bomber that crash lands and kills all but one of the crew members. The rest of them are resurrected as zombies and go after the survivor. This is short but intense and has stuck with me ever since. Man, just thinking about it freaks me out. I need to pick this up on DVD.

"THE LEDGE" from Cat's Eye

Robert Hays plays a guy who is in trouble with a mafioso-type who says that he will let Hays off the hook if he can make it around the outside of a building on a very small ledge. As with the other segments in my list, this one is very intense and you will be clutching your chair wondering if Hays will fall to his death. Director Lewis Teague knows how to keep the audience engaged and keeps throwing obstacles in the way of Hays to make things more interesting. This was another difficult decision as "Quitter's Inc." from this flick is also a fantastic segment. Both were based on short stories by Stephen King.