Tales of Terror (1962)

One in a long line of Corman directed Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that takes the form of a trio of terrors starring Horror legend Vincent Price himself in various different incarnations. In our first tale, a young woman returns home to her reclusive father twenty-six years after he cast her away, blaming her for killing her mother in childbirth. The spirit of her mother takes the opportunity to wreak her revenge on the two people she holds accountable for her death. Next, a womanizing drunkard entombs his wife and her lover behind a faux wall in his basement, only to have his revenge spoiled by her howling pet in an adaptation of "The Black Cat." Lastly, a man is trapped in the throws of death when a sadistic hypnotist that attempts to blackmail his bodiless victim's wife into marrying him. Each of the three entries offer all of the same great Gothic set designs and atmosphere of the other AIP and Hammer productions of the time, riddled with fog-laden sets and weathered Colonial New England exteriors. Peter Lorre and Vincent Price ham it up in the second feature, but overall the entire picture is pretty dry and listless. I am not familiar with the short stories that inspired the first and third segments, but I can say that this adaptation of "The Black Cat" is even further from the source material than the Lucio Fulci picture of the same title. While watchable, there are far greater offerings from both Corman and Price that are more deserving of your time.

Rating: 6/10.
Number of views: 1.

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  1. I enjoyed this one, but feel about how you do on it, Carl. The second story was my favorite of the three. The duo of Price and Lorre is class all the way. The two basically switched characters in THE COMEDY OF TERRORS. THE RAVEN is a fave of mine, too.

  2. I would have to agree, The Black Cat was the best entry, but hardly recalled the original story. Lorre and Price were at their hammy best in that one as well, I loved the wine tasting bit however irrelevant it may have been.

  3. I saw this one a couple of months ago and loved it. The Black Cat was the best entry, but all three were fun.