Sunday, 14 August 2011

FBTG: The Elemental

Every portmanteau film has to have at least one story that contains a comic relief element or is out and out farce and, to be honest, it's usually the weakest part of the film. 'The Elemental' serves that function in 'From Beyond The Grave', and although it may be daft it has a chilling conclusion.

Ian Carmichael plays an upperclass duffer who visits 'Temptations Ltd' in search of a snuff box, craftily swapping price tags to get one for a better price. Cushing isn't fooled, though, he just lets the deception take place and says goodbye with a cheery 'I hope you enjoy snuffing it'.

On the commute home, he is approached by photofit batty psychic Madam Orloff (Margaret Leighton) who warns him he has an evil force on his shoulder, an Elemental. Naturally, he thinks she's ele-mental (cheers) but, when his dog runs away and his wife is attacked he calls Madam Orloff back so that they can both ham it up something rotten in a chaotic exorcism scene. 

Elementals have to go somewhere, of course, and this one ends up in Carmichael's wife, Nyree Dawn Porter, who goes from ditzy doormat to snarling she-beast in about ten seconds. The effect is genuinely quite scary. Mrs. Elemental kills her husband and then knocks down the front door and heads out into the world. No good can come of that, no good at all.

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