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!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Raven (1963)

Can you really go wrong with Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre as rival magicians?  No way!  Think of it as Harry Potter 25: The Senior Years.  Add to that cast a young Jack Nicholson and Hazel Court [The Curse of Frankenstein, Masque of the Red Death] as Price's thought to be departed wife, and you have a winning combination in the capable hands of producer/director Roger Corman.  Forget the fact that the screen play for The Raven has very little to do with the Edgar Allan Poe poem, this is simply campy horror at it's 1960's finest.  
If you've seen similar films such as 1962's Tales of Terror, which has the same director and much of the same cast, you know what you're in for.  Granted the humor is a bit dated but it's still fun to watch.  As I have said before, without the considerable acting skills of Vincent Price, movies such as this wouldn't be nearly as good.  Price can sell just about anything and he, along with Karloff, steal the show in The Raven.  My favorite scene comes near the end of the film where Price and Karloff have a spell casting "duel to the death" which is easily the funniest scene in the movie.  I love watching Karloff do comedy.  It such a surprise and I wish he had done more.  Price, as alway, is at his most sincere and campy best.  These kinds of roles were simply made for him.
The sets are rich and well textures with lots of Gothic flourishes, especially in the castle scene.  The special effects are fine for their time and the costumes add to the fairy tale quality of this film.  Although The Raven is not particularly scary, it is a fun ride nonetheless.  I streamed this one on Netflix and it looked crisp and clear with great sound.
RATING: Excellent.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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