War-Gods of the Deep (1965)

How’s this for a pitch? The star of Mary Poppins gets mixed up with Tab Hunter and Vincent Price and has an adventure in a city under the sea. And brings his pet chicken with him in a picnic basket.

There’s also some guys dressed up in bargain basement Creature From the Black Lagoon costumes. And the sets look like random left overs from other lost city/ancient Egypt/Biblical epic films. And Price is crushed by a giant stone hand before crawling into the sunlight and turning into a really old painting of himself. You know why this is a sure fire thing? It’s all “based” on an Edgar Allen Poe poem! Continue reading “War-Gods of the Deep (1965)”

Cry of the Banshee (1970)

This was a great movie. When it was The Conqueror Worm.

To give Cry Of The Banshee credit where credit is due, it didn’t completely steal everything from its superior forerunner. Whereas in The Conqueror Worm, there was an Edgar Allan Poe verse read by Vincent Price at the conclusion of the film, Cry Of The Banshee had a verse by Poe up on the screen at the beginning of the movie. Continue reading “Cry of the Banshee (1970)”

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Among the Roger Corman adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s various works, The Masque Of The Red Death stands out as one of the best, featuring superior production values (they flew over to England for a tax break and apparently ended up re-using the sets from Beckett), an appropriately vile performance by Vincent Price as Prince Prospero, and a story that was more than the standard old dark house with degenerate families story that seemed to permeate these productions like the stench of a corpse moldering in a secret chamber somewhere in the living room walls. It didn’t hurt this movie any either when this midget burned alive a guy in a gorilla suit. Continue reading “The Masque of the Red Death (1964)”

House of Usher (1960)

Roger Corman‘s version of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall Of The House Of Usher is a bore that left me with several questions. For instance, do the characters really stand around for the first forty minutes whining about some family destiny that dooms them all to death? Are there really only four actors in this movie not counting the extras in the dream sequence that Corman must have felt compelled to put in so that something remotely interesting could be highlighted in the movie’s trailer? Did Vincent Price really dye his hair blonde for the role of Roderick Usher? Continue reading “House of Usher (1960)”

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

Tomb of Ligeia PosterThings get off to a promising start with Vincent Price‘s Verden Fell arguing with small-minded church types who are refusing to let him bury his dead witch of a wife, Ligeia, in one of the official cemeteries with their fancy consecrated land just because she supposedly said something before she died about how she would never die. I was thinking, “heck Verden, why don’t you just keep her almost-dead ass in a secret room in your fancy abbey and let her screw with your mind for the rest of your miserable life” and by golly if that’s what Verden went and did. Continue reading “The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)”

The Haunted Palace (1963)

The Haunted Palace helpfully reminds us that people with birth defects should be feared and shunned instead of pitied. Other than that bit of sage advice, the film is nothing more than a cynical effort from director Roger Corman and star Vincent Price built to milk their American International Pictures/Edgar Allan Poe film series until even the viewer begins to feel the cinematic mastitis setting in. And despite the bulk of the movie being based not on a Poe work at all, but on H.P. Lovecraft’s novella The Strange Case Of Charles Dexter Ward! Continue reading “The Haunted Palace (1963)”

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Scientist Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the last man on Earth! Does he spend his days going on kick ass shopping sprees, cruising the wastleand in a tricked out battle van and rescuing the only fertile woman left on the planet who just happened to be a lingerie model before things fell apart?

Uh, no, he’s puttering about his house sharpening wooden stakes, loading the door up with fresh garlic, and playing with his shortwave radio. Most embarassing of all, he drives a station wagon. Remember when you thought Armageddon would be super awesome? Sheesh. What a let down! Continue reading “The Last Man on Earth (1964)”