Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 099: Old School Horror Anthologies (1919 – 1999)


Happy Halloween this month! October is under way, and you’re listening to HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Episode 099 begins our weekly celebration of this spooky season! For this first week of October, we bring you our first installment of a two-part, thematic series about anthologies in horror films. In this first portion we are talking about “Old School Horror Anthologies,” from the dawn of cinema through 1999. Then next week we’ll be covering “Modern Horror Anthologies,” from the year 2000 to present. We’re also happy to bring you three quick guest appearances of live, call-in listeners that include Jody from Ohio, RedCapJack from California, and Kagan from Utah! Join us!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction

— Concept discussion of the horror anthology
— Perusing a few horror anthology titles across the decades

[ 0:40:14 ] III. Feature Review: TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972)
Dr. Shock = 8 ( Buy it! )

[ 0:49:29 ] IV. Feature Review: CREEPSHOW (1982)
Jay of the Dead = 8 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 7.5 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 8.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 0:56:30 ] V. Feature Review: TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983)
Jay of the Dead = 7.5 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 7.5 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 7.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 1:43:42 ] VI. HMP Listener LIVE Call-Ins
Jody: Asylum (1972)
RedCapJack: Body Bags (1993) — see link below
Kagan: Night Gallery: Pilot episode (1969) — see links below

[ 2:25:05 ] VII. Jay’s Mini Review, Offbeat Recommendation: THE LAST DESCENT (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 (Recommendation for horror fans: Rental)
(Jason’s MPW recommendation = Theater / Buy it!)

VIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— Don’t forget to visit our website to read our 31 Days of Halloween, which will feature the writing of listeners and primarily Dr. Shock!

JOIN US NEXT FRIDAY, OCT. 14: Episode 100 to hear our themed review of Modern Horror Anthologies – 2000 to Present!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


Read more from REDCAP JACK:

Catch up with Kagan:
Quartet Macabre
An October Evening in Salt Lake City on Oct. 22, 2016

Check out Joel Robertson’s 2016 SPOOKY FLIX FEST on Retro Movie Geek

Check out Ron Martin’s The Resurrection of Zombie 7, where they’re covering each film of the HALLOWEEN franchise. (JOTD is guest on “Halloween II.”)

Mister Watson’s Horror Corridor podcast

Links and reminders for Adam from Chicago:
Adam’s Artbox.com
Adam’s Artbox on Facebook
Adam on Twitter
Adam’s band: Cowboy Jukebox
Follow Adam on Instagram at “Adam’s Artbox” and also follow Adam’s Scary Movie Squad on Instagram at “Scary Movie Squad.”

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

Special thanks as well to musician/composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his music, Wolfman Josh’s “Screaming Online” theme. Horror fans may take special interest in his “Quartet Macabre”on YouTube.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons on our sister site, Movie Podcast Weekly.com, in the right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month. (Every little bit helps!)

Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

46 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 099: Old School Horror Anthologies (1919 – 1999)

  1. I was a little (twilight) zoned-out when Jay was talking about Burgess Meredith and I am a palled that I let it go by without mentioning his character of The Penguin in the Batman television series, one of my favorite TV shows of all time … And my kids like him in Grumpy Old Men.

      • While I was listening I actually said it to myself and was wondering if anyone would mention penguin and no one did…I was a bit sad, because personally that corny show is the best Batman imo.

  2. Currently I am not a big fan of anthologies because my favorite aspect of good horror is character development. It’s hard to do that in shorts. I do appreciate the nostalgic memories I have from Cat’s Eye, Twilight Zone, and Tales from the Darkside.

    Three Extremes (2002): Streamin on Amazon Prime
    I saw this on a J-Horror list a while back but haven’t watched it yet. The trailer looks aweseom….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-lnf01j7kw
    I know one of you is into J-Horror. I love J-Horror and Indie movies and this is apparently a trilogy done by 3 indie directors from South Korea.

    Black Sabbath (1964):
    I found this one and watched it this morning. Apparently this anthology inspired the band Black Sabbath’s name.

    I look forward to the next episode because I finally watched Trick r Treat, ABC’s of Death, Southbound, and Holidays. I can’t wait to hear your interpretations and reviews of these. And more specifically, I CANNOT wait to hear your review of the VHS franchise.

    Side note…So I found a pretty awesome list of 100 overlooked/underappreciated horror movies, and of the ones I have seen on this list, I feel it’s spot on. I cannot wait to work my way through the rest. I am starting from the top and working my way down. I have 27 to watch before I can say I have seen them all. What about you guys?

    I recommend you checking this out. It turned me onto Eden Lake which I watched yesterday and enjoyed thoroughly. Sure, there are some ones on there that don’t belong but for the most part it’s a great list!

  3. I wanted to say great job to Jody, RedCapJack, and Kagan. A couple of these guys had never podcasted before and I think their reviews really add a lot to a kind of fla show. Thanks, guys!

  4. Love the episode.
    Twilight Zone the Movie traumatized me as a child. Nightmare at 20,000 feet had me paranoid to look out the car window for months. It still gets me, love it.

  5. I can’t lie, the first segment of “VHS” really got under my skin. “Creepshow” is always a fun watch. Come to think of it I guess I’m not as familiar with a lot of anthologies as I thought I was.
    Of course who could forget Twilight Zone the Movie, it’s just heartbreaking to know what happened during filming.

  6. I noticed you guys weren’t real enthused about Creepshow 2, while its no where near as good as the first, I actually really like the 2nd one just as much. Its probably more nostalgia than anything, but its definitely up there for me. Now its kind of hard to find, but have any of you seen Creepshow 3…let me tell you if you don’t care for 2, you’ll have a blast ripping 3 to shreds. Its total garbage and a worthless pile of junk. Its like they made the movie and just used the licensing of the name “Creepshow”. Its an avoid for sure.

  7. Some great films discussed in this show and ones I need to revisit for sure. Creepshow 2 scared the hell out of me. “Thanks for the ride lady!” I will need to show my kids this one day so that they never risk picking up a hitch hiker on their own :)

  8. Still in the process of listening but wanted to comment about ‘Dead of Night.’ So glad Dave mentioned this one; it’s one of my all time favorite anthologies. If you are interested in seeing this and you have Turner Classic Movies, it will be on 0ct. 31st at 2:30 PM (I believe the listing is Eastern). TCM usuall shows it two or three times a year and almost always one of those showings is on Halloween. This is how I’ve always watched it and it’s one that’s always stuck with me. I agree that the two segments Dave mentioned, along with the wraparound (which is so good) are the best of the lot.

    • I agree with you here. Dead of Night is an all time classic. I have an old beat up VHS copy of this flick that I’ve damn near worn out from watching so much. It is very well done and the wrap around story really brings it up a notch. Highly recommended.


  9. Loved the show guys. I’ve always enjoyed a good anthology and one of my favourites was The Monster Club (1981) staring Vincent Price and directed by one of my favourite directors Roy Ward Baker. The one story that really terrified me as a kid was The Ghouls. A tale about film director getting trapped in a remote village he discovers to his horror that the village is inhabited by species of corpse-eating demons called ghouls who unearth graves for food and clothes. And now there are no more graves to plunder and the ghouls are hungry for flesh.

    This film has a great cast which includes Patrick Magee, Britt Ekland, and Donald Pleasence. I Highly recommend it.

  10. I use a very mathematical way to assign an overall score to an anthology film (I’ll post examples below). The number of segments determines how many points each one is worth: 2 segments = 5 points each, 3 = 3.33 each, 4 = 2.5 each, etc. I add up the points at the end and then examine the wraparound story. It that is really good, I’ll add points to the score, and if it is poor, I’ll dock the total.

    This system works for films with 5 segments or fewer. For something like ABC’s of Death, I just score each segment 1-10 as I go and take an overall average.

    Asylum (1972)
    Score: 7/10

    Wraparound story: A doctor named Martin accepts a job interview at an insane asylum where his job offer depends on the passing of a test: identifying which of the 4 inmates (each being the storyteller of their respective segment) is Dr. Starr, the asylum’s former head doctor.

    This is another example of a framing device done correctly. The fact that it ties directly into the fourth segment while also maintaining its own narrative is an interesting technique. Score: +1/0

    Segment 1: “Frozen Fear”. Score: 1.5/2.5

    The opening segment is the obligatory segment involving a murder plot in some shape involving marital infidelity and the cheating parties, usually also involving money in some way. There’s a segment with this plot device in most horror anthologies, and this one is average. The voodoo elements and visual creepiness of the bagged up body parts are a plus in an otherwise routine segment.

    Segment 2: “The Weird Tailor”. Score: 1.75/2.5

    A struggling tailor accepts a proposition from a mysterious stranger (Peter Cushing) to tailor a suit using a very unusual fabric and bizarre instructions. Cushing’s performance is top notch here, both in drama and horror. Some of the imagery is the stuff of nightmares, and this is the best segment of the film.

    Segment 3: “Lucy Comes to Visit”. Score: 1/2.5

    After being released from an asylum, Barbara (Charlotte Rampling) is sent to live with her brother. All is not well, however, because Barabra’s best friend Lucy (Bond Girl Britt Eckland) pays a homicidal visit.

    Except for the experience of seeing a young and stunning Charlotte Rampling, this segment has nothing to offer and is the worst of the bunch.

    Segment 4: “Mannikins of Horror”. Score: 1.75/2.5

    Dr. Byron has created several toy robots bearing likenesses of the asylums former doctors, as well as himself, that contain replicas of living human organs and viscera. He claims to be able to “will” these creations to life and does so, wrecking havoc on the current asylum administration.

    This segment is fresh because it blends itself into the wraparound story, and the “Mannikins” are cold and terrifying.

    “Asylum” is one of the forerunners for the anthology sub-genre that would become popular in the later 70s and all through the 80s. With nostalgia goggles, it holds up to memory. If the first viewing is in 2016, the viewer will likely find this film tame and perhaps even on the slow side.

    Tales From The Crypt (1972)
    Score: 8/10 overall

    Wraparound story: Five people stray from their tour through some catacombs and are greeted by the Cryptkeeper (a monk, rather than the wise-cracking rotted corpse that we know and love) who has a terrifying tale for each of them. Like the television series, the segments are based on the “Tales from the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror” comics. Score: +1/0

    Segment #1: “And All Through the House”. Score: 2/2

    A woman and her daughter are being stalked by a psycho in a Santa suit, but she cannot call the police considering she’s just murdered her husband. This was later remade as a Season 1 episode, one of the best of the series and the best segment of this film.

    Segment #2: “Reflection of Death”. Score: 0.5/2

    A man pays a hefty price for having an affair. This segment has some nifty POV camerawork, but not much else to offer. It is the worst of the bunch.

    Segment #3: “Poetic Justice”. Score: 1.5/2

    A cruel businessman gets whats coming to him after he bullies an old widower just because he wants his property. Sad and well, poetic, this is a good segment that choked me up a little.

    Segment #4: “Wish You Were Here”. Score: 2/2

    A brief but horrific segment about being careful what you wish for. Really careful. Disturbing and well-made.

    Segment #5: “Blind Alleys”. Score: 1/2

    Residents of a home for the blind take revenge on their cruel and cheap headmaster. This one will make you cringe, but with a hint of satisfaction.

    Overall, this anthology film combined its effective shorts with smooth transitions and good pacing. One of the best of its kind.

  11. It was an honor to be on this episode- with that in mind, I totally forgot another anthology that didn’t get mentioned in the show also (And I am a little sad that Dr. Shock pooped on “Tales that Madness Told”… that flick gave me nightmares for the Luau segment).

    Anyway, Necronomicon is another fun one. Not good by any stretch but a fun little watch for fans of the Cthulhu-mythos (HP Lovecraft). It’s a couple of adaptations of his stories, none of them done exceedingly well but the third one is a little gross. Anyway, just thought I’d mention that one since it came out in the 90’s as well.

    I’d give that one a 4.5 and label it a low priority stream if you can find it.

    Anyway, also thought I’d repost some of my thoughts from my blog that I put up recently:


    So, I started my 31 Days of Horror and decided to watch a couple of John Carpenter films. This little piece will not be a review of each Carpenter film I saw but rather a ranked listing of my top ten John Carpenter films. So, if you enjoy lists and want to see where YOUR favorite Carpenter film falls then give it a look through.

    10. Vampires: James Woods as a foul-mouthed crusader hunting vampires in the desert. An underrated gem from the Carpenter legacy and probably one of the last “fun” projects that Carpenter had a chance to work on. It feels more Carpenter-esque than his later full length films.

    9. Christine – based on the novel by Stephen King, a car possesses a teen and they form a dangerous bond of obsession.

    8. They Live: Aliens have infiltrated and taken over society, enslaving mankind.

    7. In The Mouth of Madness: A detective is sent to track down a reclusive writer whose works may be a doorway to another dimension.

    6. The Fog: Vengeful ghosts return to wreak vengeance on a small coastal town.

    5. Prince of Darkness: An ancient evil wakes up and it’s up to a team of scientists and a priest to unlock the mysteries of the anti-god before destruction is set loose upon the world.

    4. Big Trouble in Little China: A truck driver dives into the dangerous world of Far East mysticism and helps an old friend find his kidnapped fiancee.

    3. Escape from New York: A battered veteran criminal has to rescue the President from the prison island of New York City.

    2. The Thing-An alien attempts to devour and replicate an Antarctic Research team.

    1. Halloween-A masked killer goes on a murder spree, terrorizing a group of teen age babysitters.

  12. Hey there, honor to be on the show! Just wanted to add a quick addendum and pay a couple compliments to the writing of Rod Serling on that pilot episode of Night Gallery. Serling wrote all three entries in the pilot, and subsequently wrote several of the following episodes through the three seasons.

    One of my very favorite aspects of Night Gallery is the thematic unity across the different stories within a given episode, and I think this is something that can be a crucial part of many horror anthologies, or just anthologies in general. In the pilot episode of Night Gallery, the biggest thematic center is cruelty. And more importantly the baggage of emotions that comes along when a very cruel person finally receives their comeuppance. I think that so much excellent horror dives in to these places dealing with cruelty. I specifically think about Wes Craven’s revenge motifs that are prominent in his early work including Last House on the Left, Hills Have Eyes, and Nightmare on Elm Street.

    When someone has wronged us, we feel the very human emotion to get even. Many of us want the murderer to go to jail, we want to see the manipulating selfish person have something taken away from them, and we want the nazi who helped commit genocide to suffer the same torture they inflicted on the people they hurt. But how do we feel when these people do get their comeuppance? It can be gratifying, but it’s also revealing to show that the same cruel aspects we see in murderers and sadists also exists inside of us. That’s one of the most profound things about horror is that every single one of us is capable of the things we fear most. All of us can tap in to that level of psychopathy and malice, and it’s closer than you may think. All it takes is an act of cruelty inflicted upon you, and then you have the choice to become the monster yourself.

  13. Opening the show all that ribs talk made me have to bring my laptop to the kitchen for a snack, I just knew I couldn’t get through this show without some munchies if you guys were going to continue mentioning food.

    The 1963 Black Sabbath movie you guys talk about is really close to my heart. I remember watching it the first time one evening just after moving in alone in my little apartment back when I was 20… and I had panic attacks every time my phone rang part 8p.m. for weeks after that.

    Hearing the themes from Tales From The Crypt and Creepshow gave me little happy goosebumps, gentlemen both your reviews were so spot-on and now I know what I’ll be doing on my next evening off so thanks for refreshing my memory on those two little gems. I have to confess… I’ve never watched an episode of The Twilight Zone…. I guess I’ll have to kick my I’m-really-nt-a-fan-of-sci-fi-so-I-stear-clear-of-everything-related-to-it and actually give it a try.

    TALES FROM THE HOOD!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! It’s so deliciously horrible I still think it’s a must-see if you want a good laugh.

    To follow up on Jay’s words I think that The Last Descent is its own kind of ‘’Horror’’ as it taps in to a physical and natural fear more than just the traditional horror jump scares and monsters. It could be a bit comparable to the movie Gravity, which had nothing to do with horror but personally I had to remind myself to breathe throughout watching it because I kept holding my breath (but don’t necessarily watch gravity… it really isn’t that good).

    Speaking of Anthologies brought back memories of a show I used to watch as a kid; It was a horror/fantasy-themed anthology television series that existed from 1990 to 2000. The show played every week on Saturday evenings and had not only the best stories, but the coolest theme song ever! Basically a bunch of kids get together around a campfire each week (The Midnight Society) to tell scary stories. It was my introduction as a youngster to the Horror genre on screen and still to this day something I’d watch over and over again (I mean, some of those were scary as hell for kids!) I could be mistaken but I’m pretty sure it was a Canadian show and don’t think it was ever aired in the US, so for the curious amongst you (and to bring nostalgia to the Canadians on here) here’s a link to their first episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMe2JP_HvTM

    Great episode once again :) love listening to you gents. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next episode!

      • Are You Afraid of the Dark was the kids show you are referring too. It aired in the US too. Loved the mall storue about the pinball game and the xray specs episode.

        • Hahah I’m sorry I didn’t even give the name the show! But indeed it was Are You Afraid Of The Dark.

          Do you remember the one about the kids who stole the clown’s nose? That one scared my young little soul… Y’know, back when I had one…

          • Oh boy, I remember seeing that clown episode and it was terrifying back in the day. I hope the guys mention it on the upcoming creepy clowns episode.

          • Man, the clown episodes of that show were great. I’m pretty sure they were called “Laughing in the Dark” and “The Ghastly Grinner.” There were also a handful of pretty scary vampire episodes. In one of them, a haunted film reel allows a Nosferatu-like vampire to escape its movie and terrorize the employees of an old run down theater. In the other one that I am thinking of, a vampire infiltrates a hospital and preys on the doctors, nurses, and patients. Although some episodes of the show missed the mark, the quality was usually fairly high and never dumbed down for kids.

  14. I’m really glad Josh mentioned Kwaidan in this episode though I feel it should have been noted in the discussion of 1960’s anthologies too. That’s an important one and probably my favourite anthology next to Creepshow. Everyone should check it out (provided you’re okay with slow paced supernatural horror).

    There are a few more from the 80’s too that might not have been mentioned (though I apologise if they have been and I just missed them); There’s one called Terrorgram that’s notable for it’s James Earl Jones narration although I remember the segments themselves being pretty awful and then there’s one called The Monster Club with Vincent Price but I haven’t seen that so can’t comment.

  15. Excellent episode, fellas. Old school anthologies are a blindspot of mine, and you almost… almost… made me feel like going back and watching a bunch of them. Actually, there are a handful that I really might go back and watch.

    Jody, redcapjack, Kagan… excellent job by all of you! It was nice hearing you guys on the show.

  16. This was a real treat guys! I loved that some of the listeners came on to share their favorites and I especially enjoyed hearing Kagan talk about the Night Gallery Pilot. The Cemetery segment with Roddy McDowall and Ozzie Davis is my absolute favorite! The painting in the story is so creepy and I want a version of it hanging in my house. If people check out Night Gallery and enjoy it, they may also enjoy the William Castle produced series called Ghost Story/Circle of Fear. Some of it is up on YouTube right now, and the series is available on DVD through Amazon.

  17. Amazing ep! Anthology Horror is one of my favourite sub-genres. I always mark out a little when you guys have the same love for movies like I do, it really is cool.
    Night Train to Terror from 1985 is a crazy anthology, with God and Satan telling each other stories on this crazy space train, I don;t remember it being very good, I haven’t seen it since I was a kid, but the ludicrous plot has always stuck with me.

    I wish Nightmares (1983) got a bit more of a look-in, if only for the Emilio segment.
    I’m really looking forward to the next episode!

  18. I’m a little late to the party, but as Cheech Marin once said “Better late than Never”.

    I want to throw out the TV series Thriller for this group. This series ran from 1960 to 1962 and offered up 2 season of anthology horror. Hosted by the late, great Boris Karloff it can easily be seen as a Twilight Zone rip off, but there have a lot of really fun episodes and like most anthology TV shows from back in the day you can catch a lot of really great actors in early roles.

    For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thriller_(U.S._TV_series)

    The standout episode for me was #36 “Pigeons From Hell”. Adapted from the incredible short story by Robert E. Howard (please do yourself a favour and read this story: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600721.txt).

    The complete series is available on DVD if anyone is interested.


  19. Despite the tragedy that clouds the film, I’ve always enjoyed Twilight Zone: The Movie. George Miller’s section was always my favorite. Also, the 1985 reboot of Twilight Zone on TV had some creepy episodes, especially the first season. Many big name directors turned in some great work. In 1985 TV networks really got into anthologies – Amazing Stories and Hitchcock Presents. We need another Twilight Zone movie! My four directors would be Christopher Nolan, Ti West, Kathryn Bigelow, and Quentin Tarantino.

  20. I’m not sure if anyone mentioned it but The Willies from 1990 was a decent anthology. A few name actors but it kind of creep me out as a kid.

  21. Hello HMP!
    I found your podcast about two months ago, loved what I heard, and have been devouring episodes ever since. I really appreciate how your discussions combine the right amount of criticism, technical discussion, and reverence. It truly sounds like you enjoy what you do together. Congratulations on your 100th episode; as long as you keep them coming, I’ll keep listening!
    Now that I’ve finished fangirling, a question:
    Considering the recent success of the short film “Lights Out” and its subsequent feature film, would you guys ever consider making an episode about short films and their place in the horror genre?

  22. Pingback: Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 124: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 1 (1976 – 1996) |

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