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Horror Anthologies

By: seroton​inronin

As far as I can tell, this is the most complete horror anthology list anywhere. Please inform me of anything that’s missing. Some people I’ve seen have included unreleased films on their lists, but that seems pretty nonsensical to me, so I haven’t done it here.

This intro is just copy-pasted from a blog I wrote about Creepshow a while ago. I may amend, change, edit it in days to come, but I just thought a little background would be nice for now. Nothing too fancy.

On the most basic level, a horror anthology film presents a number of different self-contained narratives (we could just call them short films for convenience), all horrific. Anthology-got it? Oftentimes, these individual tales are encompassed within some larger “wraparound” story. These wraparound stories serve as a sort of backdrop or binding tie for all of the individual stories. So, for example, the wraparound story in Creepshow is that each tale is drawn from the pages of the horror comic books collected by the boy we meet at the beginning (the film is an homage to the E.C. comics of the 50’s, such as Tales From the Crypt and The Vault of Horror).

As a genre, horror anthologies goes back much further than most people suspect. The first example of a recognizable horror anthology could be Richard Oswald’s ‘Eerie Tales’ from 1919, which included a rendition of Poe’s “The Black Cat.” Oswald would go on to direct another early anthology(ish), ‘The Living Dead’ aka ‘Ghastly Tales’ which was actually meant partly as a parody of German expressionist cinema, and, in particular, the legendary ‘Waxworks’, directed by Paul Leni in 1924, which is another early example of a horror anthology (Leni would go on to direct one of the most important haunted house films of all time in ‘The Cat and the Canary’). One other important early anthology of note is Fritz Lang’s ‘Destiny’ (1921) in which the character of Death relates three stories of heartbreak and loss to a young woman who is trying to reunite herself with her lover. The shocking twist of an ending to the main wraparound story in ‘Destiny’ is a crucial moment in the development of the horror anthology.

After the German anthology boom, there was mainly dead air until the early 40’s which saw a few American entries to the genre, as well as perhaps the most influential horror anthology of all time, 1945’s ‘Dead of Night’. The English production represented the first few rolling pebbles in what would become, in the 60’s and early 70’s, an avalanche of British horror anthologies. Examples would include the films of Roy Ward Baker (most famous for 1958’s ‘A Night to Remember’), e.g. ‘The Monster Club’ (1980), ‘The Vault of Horror’ (1973), and ‘Asylum’ (1972), as well as other luminary films such as Kevin Connor’s ‘From Beyond the Grave’ (1973) and Peter Duffell’s ‘The House that Dripped Blood’ (1971). Most of these films resulted from the turf war that erupted between film production companies Hammer and Amicus over the British horror market, which Hammer had dominated throughout the 60’s. Amicus was looking for new ways to draw people into their horror films, and so began experimenting with the anthology format. They saw some success with the early experiments, and poof, we have the British horror anthology wave. There were other notable horror anthologies produced during this time throughout the rest of the world as well, including Italian horror genius Mario Bava’s 1963 film ‘Black Sabbath’ and Masaki Kobayashi’s ‘Kwaidan’ (1963) (likely the only horror anthology that is ever going to get a Criterion release :( ). Amicus and Hammer squashed the beef in the early 80’s(mainly because both companies shifted away from horror films. Hammer because their trademark Gothic-style was becoming less and less popular with the rise of more “edgy,” “sophisticated” fair [e.g. ’Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Night of the Living Dead’, both from 1968]. Amicus because they misjudged the change in horror taste to mean a moving away from horror in general and decided to shift focus to science fiction films). This left the good old U.S. of A. to take up the horror anthology mantle, which brings us to probably the most important horror anthology of all time, ‘Creepshow’. As you may recall from like two sentences of a really long parenthetical ago, George A. Romero had just finished dropping a huge elbow from the sky on the British anthology wave with his ‘Night’ and ‘Dawn’ of the deads, and so may have been feeling some pangs of guilty conscience. So he and Stephen King (also a rising star in horror at the time for his books ‘Carrie’ (1974), ’Salem’s Lot’ (1975) and others) decided to team up a la the Miami Heat (Tom Savini can be Chris Bosh) to make a horror anthology film of their very own. King wrote (two of the segments are based directly on previously existing short stories of his) and Romero directed (Savini, a legendary horror makeup artist and general fan favorite, acted and did makeup). ‘Creepshow’ was born, and released in 1982. A bunch of other American anthologies followed and the format is still utilized occasionally. Also, the rise of J-horror in the early 2000s produced a significant bump in anthologies again, as many Asian anthologies started to be made and get US releases. Much more needs to be said about these recent developments, as well as the long form history of the horror anthology in general outside of film. Those not in the database are listed manually below. I accept that some of these inclusions can be challenged on various grounds, but I’m a liberal guy.

NOTE: I’m letting the first of the ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ flicks stand in for all the other 12 of them. Because I’m lazy.

The Uncanny (Heroux, 1977)
Grim Prairie Tales (Coe, 1990)
Twice Told Tales (Salkow, 1963)
Night Gallery [Pilot] (Sagal, Spielberg, Shear, 1969)
Dead of Night (Curtis, TV 1977)
Screams of a Winter Night (Wilson, 1979)
Terrorgram (Kienzle, 1988)
After Midnight (Wheat, Wheat, 1989)
The Basement (O’Rawe, 1989)
Trilogy of Terror II (Curtis, 1996)
Quicksilver Highway (Garis, TV 1997)
A Four Course Meal (Liford, 2006)
Gallery of Fear (Kelly, Sumner, 2010)
Alien Zone (Miller, 1978)
The Three Faces of Terror (Stivaletti, 2004)
Encounter With the Unknown (Thomason, 1973)
Three Cases of Murder (Eady, O’Ferrall, Toye, 1955)
4bia (Pisanthanakun, Purikitpanya, Thongkongtoon, Wongpoom, 2008)
Two-Fisted Tales (Donner, Holland, Zemeckis, 1992)
Strange Frequency (Lambert, Spicer, TV 2001)
Before I Die (Castiglione, Murphy, Wynkoop, 2003)
Deadtime Stories (Fischa, Monahan, Walsh, 2009)
Unholy Women (Amemiya, Suzuki, Toyoshima, 2006)
NightThirst (McBride, Polonia, Polonia, 2002)
Trilogia do Terror (Marins, Person, Candeias, 1968)
Eerie Tales (Oswald, 1919)
Up For Rent (Cole, Cole, Richardson, 2006)
With Friends Like These… (Malazdrewicz, Parkinson, Zaloum, 1991)
Tales of the Unusual (Hosi, Ochiai, Ogura, Suzuki, 2000)
An Evening of Edgar Allen Poe (Johnson, 1970)
Yinyang Jie (Ting, 1974)
Tales of the Unexpected (Annett, Danton, Hessler, Lloyd, 1979)
Tales of the Third Dimension (Keeter, McIntyre, Owensby, 1984)
Twisted Illusion (Ritter, Wynkoop, 1985)
Escapes (Steensland, 1986)
Pulse Pounders (Band, 1988)
Fright House (Anthony, 1989)
Adrenaline (Assal, Bompard, Dorison, Hudson, Maddeddu, Piquer, Robak, 1990)
Freakshow (Magnatta, 1989)
Things (Devine, Woelfel, 1993)
Twisted Tales (Klus, Lindenmuth, McCleery, 1994)
The Dark Dealer (Alexander, Winberg, 1995)
Freakshow (Cooke, Talbot, 1995)
Twisted Tales (Dennis, TV 1996)
Happy People (Suzuki, 1997)
Twists of Terror (Jackson, TV 1997)
Mei Mong Leung (Lee, 1998)
Creepy Tales (Russin, 2001)
Creepy Tales: Girls Night Out (Russin, 2003)
The Edge of Reality (Bagnardi, 2003)
Inagawa Junji no shinjitsu no horror (Hirakata, Ikezoe, Tomioka, Yamakawa, 2003)
Creeptales (Boxell, Hegyes, Hegyi, Mandel, Middleton, Nygard, Salisbury, Slane, 2004)
Killer Story (Clancy, 2004)
Tomb of Terror (DeCoteau, Hassani, Joyner, 2004)
Visits: Hungry Ghost Anthology (Ho, Lee, Yuen, Hann, 2004)
Zoo (Adachi, Kaneda, Ando, Masatetsu, Mizusaki, 2005)
The Boneyard Collection (Plumb, 2006)
Codex Atanicus (Atanes, 2008)
Lost Suburbia (Bune, King, Natale, Smith, Smith, 2007)
Betting the Devil Your Head: Tales from Poe (Lariviere, 2010)
Monsterpiece Theatre Volume 1 (Terra, 2011)
Takbo…Talon…Tili!!! (Jarlego, 1992)
Magandang Hatinggabi (Dyogi, 1998)

TV ANTHOLOGY-ISH PROGRAMS

Tales of Tomorrow (1951)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955)
Science Fiction Theater (1955)
The Veil (1958)
The Twilight Zone (1959)
One Step Beyond (1959)
Thriller (1960)
The Outer Limits (1963)
Journey Into the Unknown (1968)
Night Gallery (1970)
Thriller (1973)
The Hitchhiker (1983)
Tales From the Darkside (1984)
The Twilight Zone (1985)
The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985)
Amazing Stories (1985)
Friday the 13th: The Series (1987)
Freddy’s Nightmares (1988)
Monsters (1988)
Tales From the Crypt (1989)
Chiller (1990)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991)
Goosebumps (1995)
The Outer Limits (1995)
The Hunger (1997)
Night Visions (2001)
The Twilight Zone (2002)
Fear Itself (2008)

 

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Jaspar Lamar Crabb

18Sep12

AWESOME stuff ----- Dr. Terror's House of Horror should be included...C. Lee, P Cushing, D Sutherland, Max Adrian, Bernard Lee, M Gough...etc

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ExperimentoFilm

2Jul12

http://mubi.com/films/the-vault-of-horror

Picture of Karmin Carr

Karmin Carr

7Feb12

What the author of the book "How to Survive a Horror Movie" didn't tell his readers was this. If you're trapped in a Horror Anthology... all bets are off.

serotoninronin likes this

Picture of Karmin Carr

Karmin Carr

7Feb12

And I thought I had an impressive list. There are many here that I didn't have (and some that I still can't find). This list is very impressive. Now the big trick will be to find the 7 or 8 that I am missing.

  • Picture of serotoninronin

    serotoninronin

    7Feb12

    Thanks very much! Which are the ones you're having trouble finding? Maybe I could point you in the right direction.

  • Picture of Karmin Carr

    Karmin Carr

    7Feb12

    The ones I am still missing include Spirits of the Dead Gallery of Horrors Bizarre Subconscious Cruelty Dark Tales of Japan Satan's Storybook Hellblock 13 Cremains Tales From the Dead and Adam West's Tales From Beyond. Most of the others I am thrilled to say I already have in my collection.