Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tales of Terror (1962)

Tales of Terror is an trilogy of Edgar Allan stories produced an directed by Roger Corman and starring the likes of Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone.  It reminds me of other anthologies that would follow such as Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow.  It's not super scary but it's definitely a lot of fun and has a nice sense of humor served alongside the horror.  Furthermore, the look of the film is wonderful and has the feel of a Hammer Horror production.  You gotta love it!
The first story is a delightful telling of Poe's "Morella" and is creepy and atmospheric.  Price does a nice job as Locke whose estranged daughter pays him a visit, unaware that her dead mother is "sleeping" in the bedroom.  The crispy critter makeup on the Mom is really great and the uber-cobwebbed house is the perfect setting for this story.
The second vignette is Poe's "Black Cat" with a touch of "The Cask of Amontillado," one of my all-time favorite Poe stories.  Peter Lorre and Vincent Price perfect together with Lorre playing the part of Montressor, the lush, and Prince hamming it up as Fortunato Luchresi, the wine aficionado.  I know of few actors who can be this campy and believable at the same time.  I really love Prince in this role.
The final story is Poe's "The Case of M. Valdemar" and, once again, Poe hits it out of the ballpark as a man with a terminal illness who undergoes hypnosis to help ease his pain.  Basil Rathbone [Son of Frankenstein] is the perfect counterpart to Price as the good doctor who has fell than his patient's best interests in mind.
I watched this one instantly on Netflix and the picture and sound were perfect.  Tales of Terror is a good old-fashioned scary movie which reminds me why I fell in love with these kinds of films so many years ago.
RATING: Excellent.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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