MOVIE REVIEWS

Tales of Terror (1962)

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By John Chard January 30, 2017

Corman, Poe & Price.

The fourth venture into Poe adaptations for Roger Corman and Vincent Price sees them taking on the portmanteau format with a trilogy of creepers.

First off is Morella, which finds Price as a typecast loner living in a big old mansion with the dead corpse of his wife! Enter his daughter, who at birth was the reason for Morella’s death and thus Price originally holds a grudge, but of course there is a twist in the tale.

Secondly is The Black Cat, with Peter Lorre joining Price in the best of the three tales. Price is a wine tasting dandy, Lorre a complete drunk and once Price meets Lorre’s beautiful put upon wife, things are going to end badly.

Finally is The Case of M Valdemar which pits Basil Rathbone into the mix as a devious hypnotist who uses his powers for what he thinks will be sexually tinged deeds. Price is in this as well, but spends most of the story as a corpse.

It’s a short sharp shock piece of film making, fun and sometimes stylish, it doesn’t however have the requisite scares to marry up with the welcome black humour that makes the second instalment the standout.

Still, having three legends of cinema in one picture has to be a bonus, and The Black Cat alone is worth investing time with this one. 7/10

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