Friday, October 8, 2010

The Premature Burial (1962)

Needing to take a break from zombies, I felt it was a great time to revisit one of my favorites in the genre, Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe series (especially with October 7th being the anniversary of Poe’s death). My choice was the 1962 classic The Premature Burial.

Plot / Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament.

This is one of the overlooked entries in Roger Corman's "Poe" cycle, yet, it stands up quite well in the overall scheme. While this is the only adaptation in the series in which Vincent Price does not appear, his replacement, Ray Milland, does a good job in the starring role and is actually very entertaining. Throughout the movie, Corman does a great job at maintaining a nice and creepy atmosphere with a combination of sound and scenery. Yes, this is no Pit and the Pendulum, but it's an above-average horror flick recommended for everyone. 

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