This British anthology predates the American TV show considerably, but they do share a few similarities.
The story flow: This anthology does utilize a through-line story, the featured character in each segment have all found themselves on a tour of a crypt. None of them seem to remember how they got there, but they're all in a hurry to leave...
The segments: Each segment features a character dying after they've morally compromised themselves, and there are some cheeky twists throughout. But all the characters are in the connecting segment together, so there's clunky exposition at the beginning and end of each story.
The stars: This anthology features two British powerhouse actors, Peter Cushing (in full zombie makeup no less), and the incomparable Joan Collins.
The Crypt Keeper: (Mild spoilers.) This film, like the American TV series, features a crypt keeper. The British keeper is more reserved and dry than his American counter part (as you'd expect), but he's also a human rather than animatronic. Though, the British keeper does turn to camera at the end of the film, delivering his final line straight to the audience exactly like the giggly Keeper we all know and love.
But do we recommend it: It's a bit dry and dated, but it's not without charm.
This is the only horror anthology I can think of that features the same actor in all it's segments. At least Karen Black wears a different glasses in each segment so we didn't get confused! (JK, she's very amazing all the way through.)
The story flow: There's no connecting story in this anthology, so there's no resetting after forced exposition between each segment, but having same actor playing different characters can take a moment to settle into each time.
The segments: The first two have some pretty solid misdirects, and a couple nice twists! The last segment is fairly predictable, but contains some pretty interesting elements none the less.
Karen Black x4: Even though there's only three segments in this anthology, Karen manages to play four different characters!
The rampant misogyny: There's about two different flavors of female characters in anthology: milquetoast and harlot. Black manages to breathe considerable differences into each of them, and there are a couple nice pay offs, but over all it's more cringy than not. (Spoiler misogyny: The final segment even features an overbearing mother who ends up being lured into a trap that will certainly end in her death.)
The rampant racism: There are two segments that use racist tropes, one featuring voodoo and the other magical Native American objects. The voodoo is slapped in like a weird afterthought, and the other relies almost entirely on made-up Native American lore.
But, do we recommend it: Yes, but with reservations. It's a solid series of shorts with interesting twists and performances, but the unnecessary dependence on either misogyny or racism (or both) detracts from this one significantly.
This might well be the best horror anthology out there it's spooky, well shot, utilizes great effects and lighting, features underrated actors pushing their most often cast parts to intense extremes, and takes place on Halloween!
The story flow: All the segments of this anthology interact with each other, and those interactions have impacts on the other stories. One character yells at another over the fence in one segment, and you see it from the other character's perspective in the next. And since there's no clunky connecting story, there's no having to reset after cheese-ball nonsense. Each story ramps up as the movie rolls on, just like a normal narrative movie, and the weak spots in each story are few. It's honestly refreshing.
The twists: As you'd expect, there are twists in each story, but many of them are new spins on old tropes. Some are more obvious than others, some lead you on to believe one thing only to take a left turn, and some even play on cultural themes that almost never get addressed in the horror genre.
The type casing: Dylan Baker and Brian Cox play variants of their typical rolls, but each is dialed to a new flavor of horrifying.
The best Halloween movie there is: Not only is this a great Halloween anthology, it's a great Halloween movie period. Even the Halloween franchises doesn't utilize the holiday as well as this film does. There's no better time of year to watch this gem than on Halloween night!
Dumped to home video: This movie was never given a chance to shine. It was finished, shelved, and unceremoniously released to home video. Unfortunately, the studio didn't license the music for theatrical release, and that's sadly why you'll never see it playing in revival theaters.
But do we recommend it: Yes, whole heartedly. This movie is one of our favorites. The cutest fan art: If you're not familiar with Tales from the Stitch, allow me to introduce you through my FAVORITE of her offerings: the Crochet Sam Doll. It might be the perfectly crunched-through sucker, it might be the adorable size, but whatever it is, this little monster marched straight into my heart the first moment I saw him!