The wraparound story – Temptations Ltd. is an antiques shop whose tag line is “Offers You Cannot Resist.” Whenever someone tries to cheat the Proprietor (Peter Cushing), they suffer terrible consequences.
The Gate Crasher
The first of our subjects is Edward Charlton (David Warner). He purchases an antique mirror, which he convinces the proprietor is a knockoff and therefore isn’t worth what he is charging. After he takes it home, he holds a seance with his friends. This brings forth a spirit who appears in the mirror and commands Edward to kill to feed him.
An Act of Kindness
In this story Christopher Lowe (Ian Bannen), a man with very little satisfaction in his life, steals a medal from the shop in an effort to impress an old soldier, Jim Underwood (Donald Pleasence). Lowe is stuck in a dead-end job and in a loveless marriage. When Lowe accepts an invitation to Underwood’s home, he meets and begins a relationship with Underwood’s daughter Emily (Angela Pleasence). Emily takes voodoo-like measures to rid Lowe of his wife so she can have him to herself.
Reggie Warren (Ian Carmichael), switches the price tags on a snuff box and then talks the Proprietor into coming down even more. On the train home, Reggie encounters a clairvoyant who tells him he has an “elemental” on his shoulder. She says the elemental is homicidal and should he want it removed, he need only to contact her. After his dog disappears and his wife in nearly choked to death in her sleep, he calls Madame Orloff to get rid of it. She does, but something goes horribly wrong.
A writer, William Seaton (Ian Ogilvy), purchases a large, carved door from the shop at an agreed upon reduced price. Once home, Seaton installs it in his office and becomes obsessed with it. When he opens it, he discovers a room behind it that belonged to an occultist who created the door to trap people who entered so he can steal their souls.
There is also a wrap-up of the wraparound. Between each vignette, a thief is seen casing the shop. He also has an encounter with the Proprietor.
This is actually the last in a series of anthologies Amicus produced. As always, the acting is superb from veterans Cushing, Pleasence and Warner. While the stories aren’t particularly scary, they are interesting, with a moral. That moral? Karma is a bitch.
In this film, the first story is actually the best, however, there is a reason The Door was saved for last. Of course, I can’t tell you why or it would ruin the surprise.
If you’re a fan of Hammer films, but have not experienced Amicus, this is a good place to start. I cannot recommend it enough.