Monday, October 25, 2010

Tales of Terror (1962)

As I was thinking of what to do for Vincent Price Day, I couldn’t help but think of his great work in the 1950s and 1960s with Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. So, in honor of Vincent, my review todays is Tales of Terror from 1962.

Plot/ Three stories adapted from the work of Edgar Allan Poe. A man and his daughter are reunited, but the blame for the death of his wife hangs over them, unresolved. A derelict challenges the local wine-tasting champion to a competition, but finds the man's attention to his wife worthy of more dramatic action. A man dying and in great pain agrees to be hypnotized at the moment of death, with unexpected consequences.

This entry of the Corman/Price/Poe adaptations features small variations of the tales, Morella, The Black Cat and The (Facts in the) Case of M. Valdemar. While these very short versions of each lack the feel of the earlier Price/Corman collaborations, feeling uneven and unpaced at times, they do remain as a quality anthology of Poe’s works. There are liberties taken, as all of Poe’s works are difficult to get onto the screen as written, but that is to be expected. Price, who stars in all three segments, does a masterful job playing three diverse characters with the flair and camp humor only he could master. The film also features some tremendous special effects that really added to the development and direction of the movie. Yes, at times the mood lightens a bit too much and it seems too happy of a tone, but it is a movie that is worth watching and a definite must see for fans of Poe, Price and Corman!

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