4 / 5 May '10
Tagline: A Trilogy of Shock and Horror!
Directed by: Roger Corman
Written by: Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson
Actors Include: Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, Peter Lorre
Length: 89 minutes
This is a very cute yet slightly uneven trilogy of tales featuring the irresistible Mr. Vincent Price. It's got Roger Corman directing and producing plus it's loosely based around Poe tales...what more could one want? The first story "Morella" is about a daughter returning home to her Father (Price) who just happens to be rather unhappy to see her. He blames her for her Mother's death, and Mommy's corpse is still in his house even! The daughter doesn't have long to live so the father and she try to get along. The thing is, Mommy is still very unhappy... It's rather cheesy and the effects are laughable but yet it's still a decent little tale.
The second story "The Black Cat" is probably the best retelling of that tale that I've seen yet. I love Peter Lorre as the grumpy intoxicated black cat hatin' Montresor. He tales his wife's sewing money for booze because he's such a drunk even though it's their food money, he treats everyone rather cruelly but he knows his wine. He brings home fellow wine taster champion Fortunado (Price hamming it up big time) who just happens to start an affair with Montresor's wife. Let's just say this doesn't go well and if you know the story you can guess what happens next. Definitely the best tale of the trilogy.
Lastly we have "The Case of M. Valdemar" which has a dying Price who is being hypnotized by a cruel jerk who manages to prolong his peace in death by keeping him partially alive and trapped in a hypnotic state. It's kinda neat and not a bad tale but it could have been a little more exciting.
Still it's a fairly charming and memorable little trilogy, very little graphic stuff and blood despite what the back of the case would have you believe. Still great actors and creative story telling takes this a long way.
Availability: On DVD