ESCAPES (1986) Reviews and overview

New! Visitor ratings! Click on a star to indicate your rating of this movie!


‘Join Vincent Price on a suspense-filled journey to the supernatural!’
Escapes is a 1986 American fantasy horror feature film made for TV. It was written, produced and directed by David Steensland. The ‘film’ is actually an edited together anthology of six supernatural video shorts, each originally produced separately and shown on HBO and the Sci-Fi Channel: “Something’s Fishy,” “Coffee Break,” “Who’s There,” “Jonah’s Dream,” and “Think Twice.”

Wraparound footage of Vincent Price, who allegedly received $10,000 for a few minutes of work, was later added to link the individual tales together to provide an overall running time of 69 minutes. A “director’s cut’ with sixteen extra minutes was also released on VHS.


Buy DVD:

On May 30, 2017, Intervision Picture Corp. released the film on DVD double-billed with Dark Harvest

Patti Negri remembers Dark Harvest
Dan Weiss remembers Dark Harvest Via Video Skype
Distributor Tom Naygrow on David Steensland, Writer/Director of Escapes

Escapes is a portmanteau film topped and tailed by Vincent Price (who naturally gets top billing, even though he’s only in the film for a few minutes), this crams 1986 movie six stories – originally made as cable TV fillers – into 87 minutes, so there is little time for anything to become dull. These stories are Twilight Zone / Stephen King-inspired morality tales, some of which work better than others – the ideas could do with fleshing out more, to be honest, and some just don’t work. But it’s better than contemporary TV shows such as Monsters, which I know isn’t saying much, but still…

This is an unexpectedly wholesome fantasy – only one story features a death scene and the scares are strictly PG-rated – but it’s none the worse for that, and director David Steensland probably should’ve gone on to bigger things.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

“Young Matthew (Todd Fulton) receives a mysterious videotape in the mail titled, you guessed it, Escapes. Hey, it stars Vincent Price, he figures, so how bad can it possibly be? As it turns out, pretty damn bad.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

” …despite the film’s minuscule budget, Escapes does a rather admirable job in terms of production value. While none of the performances are all that deep, the film still features some really nice camera work (at times), decent costuming and sets, and respectable special effects. These aspects do add some extra charm to the proceeds,” Horror and Sons

” …I would rank the stories, best to worse, as Coffee Break, Who’s There?, Think Twice, A Little Fishy, Jonah’s Dream, Hall of Faces. Skip it or go check it out on double speed on YouTube if you must check it out. It’s forgettable and poorly made. More a fantasy than horror anthology.” Rambling at the BridgeHead

“I can’t fault Vincent Price for anything, as he’s on screen for a grand total of maybe four minutes, but if he hadn’t been it at all, I would definitely not have suffered through till the end. There is no violence or gore, no outright scares, weak scripts, a pitiful budget, etc.” Satanic Pandemonium

“Overall, this anthology is tamer than the entire series of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark and possesses even less creative storytelling. If you pass this one over, you’re not missing much, but if you’re an anthology buff, you may want to suffer through it.” Hollie Horror, Letterboxd

“Five stories in the tradition of The Twilight Zone but not as satisfying.” John Stanley, Creature Features

“The end concept is copied from Dead of Night … Price wasn’t choosing his projects with much care at this point.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide


Buy VHS:


MOVIES and MANIA provides an aggregated range of film reviews from a wide variety of credited sources, plus our own reviews and ratings, in one handy web location. We are a genuinely independent website and rely solely on the minor income generated by internet ads to stay online and expand. Please support us by not blocking ads. If you do block ads please consider making a small donation to our running costs instead. We'd really appreciate it. Thank you. As an Amazon Associate, the owner occasionally earns a small amount from qualifying linked purchases.