Twice-Told Tales (1963 USA)

In Twice-Told Tales Vincent Price does what he does best: be mysterious. It’s good enough to compare favourably with the best films in the Price / Roger Corman / A.I.P. series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. But the slow pacing and length of the film may not sit well with some viewers, but others will take delight in the atmosphere, the performances, the story telling, and all the trappings of the genre. Possibly the inspiration for “Creepshow,” complete with a skeleton hand turning the pages between stories. Twice-Told Tales is sometimes funny, sometimes ridiculous, but always entertaining in that surreal sixties style I find so charming.
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Witchfinder General (1968 United Kingdom)

In 1645 the accusing word witch (or papist in England) was enough to have your human rights roundly violated. Today we have the politically powerful elite wielding a similar power with the use of the word racist. Some things don’t change. Witchfinder General’s exploitative elements are tempered by the ever-reliable presence of horror maestro Vincent Price, who manages to keep the film feeling respectable. Proving his versatility as an actor, Price’s performance is surprisingly understated; perhaps he felt that the subject matter was already macabre enough, without the need for his own unique vocal flourishes. Indeed, far from being frightening, Matthew Hopkins comes across as little more than a methodical businessman, his moral quandaries not necessarily absent, but merely set aside to make room for his wages. [Read more…]

The Tingler (1959 USA)

tinglerThe Tingler (hopefully) works on a few levels. As a horror story at the base level, it’s a decent tale of a creature, fear and murder. The blood is minimal. There’s no gore and the language is clean. No nudity. No one is caught with their pants down, porking around in places where they shouldn’t be. As for Vincent Price, this maybe is one of his ten best performances. He manfully delivers each line of dialogue with an intensity worthy of Shakespeare.  [Read more…]

The Raven (1963 USA)

raven02An absurd adventure – styled comedy. The plot is thinner than a supermodel’s waistline and even at 85 minutes it outstays its welcome. But I will be kind. Edgar Allen Poe may have turned in his grave, but the rest of us get to have fun as we see horror gods Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre, not to mention Jack Nicholson ham it up in style as the weird and wonderful cast of this very silly story of wizards and hocus pocus. [Read more…]

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964/65 UK)

filmAh, those pesky British tea breaks. They drove director Roger Corman up the wall. Why can’t the Yanks understand the Brits love their cuppa, even if they are a film crew working on a set for an exploitation director from Wherever USA.  Instead of taking 15 days to shoot this tepid horror tale, it took 25. Oh, the humanity! We’re lucky a third Anglo – American War didn’t break out. The second one was over tea as well. Tea is an important theme to this blog. If I believe in anything with a religious fervour, its tea. So Mr Corman can take a running jump! [Read more…]

Pit And The Pendulum (1961 USA)

pit and the pendulum The original tale of one man’s descent into torture, madness and near-death at the hands of a bunch of terrifyingly faceless tormentors becomes even more creepy as a ‘whodunit’. It also helped immensely that screenwriter Richard Matheson was on a roll. He breathed new life into Poe’s classic-if-fusty material, giving it a wicked, almost contemporary spin. [Read more…]

House Of The Long Shadows (1983 United Kingdom)

FRlongshadows10This is a half – entertaining mess for fans of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. If you like to look at a cast with an average age of 105, staggering around a dark Welsh mansion, this is your thing. A plastic surgeon’s dream gone wrong: Peter has stretch marks on his liver spots, meanwhile Chris is battling those hot flushes as manfully as he can, and Vincent is going through his second hysterectomy…and you think you have problems. [Read more…]

HOUSE OF USHER (1960 United States)

b70-3498Written by Richard Matheson, it does a great work at mixing elements of Poe’s short stories in order to create a morbidly tense tale. Since the plot revolves around the characters, enough time is spent developing each one of them, setting the stage for the terrific finale where they’ll face each other in a superb climax. [Read more…]

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