Another portmanteau stuffed with seventies talent drawing
increasingly tired inspiration from
story-lines cross-hatched in the fifties by Bill Gaines and  Al Feldstein in the EC comic of the same
name.  The cast – Daniel Massey, vintage
cad Terry Thomas,  Bond baddie-to-be Curt
Jurgens, Michael Craig and an extremely hirsute (pre Dr Who) Tom Baker – five
apparently respectable gents assemble in the cramped confines of a lift
somewhere in London. They’re going down to an elegantly decorated sub-basement
where over a glass of something our chaps reveal a shared problem, their
recurring dreams.

Siblings Harold (Massey) and Donna (real-life sister Anna)
get into a spat over dads inheritance in the first story, a tale of vampirism
with a culinary edge. There’s enough flock wall paper in the background to
decorate the average seventies restaurant but not enough to paper over the
cracks where the story ought to be. No real meat on the bones in this plot-au-feu. So to the next course via
our chaps waiting patiently in the underground lobby and…

Compulsive organisation is the order of the day in the next
tale as Arthur Critchet (Thomas) obsessed with a place for everything and
everything in its place believes he’s finally brow-beaten clumsy wife Eleanor
(Glynis Johns) to see things his way around the home. He’s wrong of course as
her cack-handed attempts to clean house eventually jar in a most unpleasantly organised way. Jolly neat though!

Its to India next as magician Sebastian (Jurgens) and wife Inez
(Dawn Adams) can’t resist exposing a fake when they see one in the market. When
the fakirs lovely assistant conjures up an illusion Sebastian can’t explain
he’s keen to buy it but she’s not selling at any price.  Will the greedy couples dirty tricks be
enough to get their hands on the magic – or leave them hanging?

The ground is freshly dug rather than solid in the next tale
of an insurance scam that gets ahead of itself for Maitland (Craig) when his
accomplice double crosses him and a couple of medical students Tom (Robin
Nedwell) and Jerry (Geoffrey Davies) taking a break from Doctor in Charge
unexpectedly get what they’re looking for courtesy of a cameo from wheezing
gravedigger Arthur English… gored
blimey guv’ you might say.

Out of touch on the island of Haiti, painter Moore (Tom
Baker) discovers the art world back home is making a killing out of his work
but he’s not seen a penny.  Purchasing
some local voodoo he returns to Blighty and sets about sketching fitting
vengeance on a greedy trio of gallery owner Gaskill (John Witty) collector
Dilitant (Denham Elliot) and critic Breedley (Terence Alexander). Unfortunately
he fails to spot the devil in the detail and paints himself into and ultimately
out of the picture…

If, having dozed off somewhere in the middle, you wake up
suddenly towards the end of this picture, you’ve timed it well because the last
few moments, there to reveal the yawning twist, convey more atmosphere than the
rest of the movie put together. Fans of seventies TV programmes, gaudy wall
paper and kitsch décor, will probably find something to engage the senses
otherwise consider this film less a vivid nightmare than lack-lustre
after-thought and not one of the better examples of the genre.

Review by Dancemakr

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