3 horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the 1st story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of three elderly friends. In "... See full summary »
Simon Cordier is a well-respected magistrate who visits a condemned prisoner, Louis Girot, just before the man's execution. Girot again pleads his innocence insisting that he has been taken... See full summary »
Reginald Le Borg
Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft's novel THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD, this fright flick opens with a warlock placing a curse on a group of villagers about to burn him at the stake. Generations later, the warlock's descendant returns to the village to pick up where his ancestor left off. Written by
Joseph, have you not gorged yourself enough on revenge?
Charles Dexter Ward:
You do not know the extent of my appetite, Simon. I'll not have my fill of revenge until this village is a graveyard. Until they have felt, as I did, the kiss of fire on their soft bare flesh. All of them. Have patience my friends. Surely, after all these years, I'm entitled to a few small amusements.
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Roger Corman's 'Poe' series is one of the all time highlights of cinema. With low budgets, great stories and Vincent Price; Corman has created a legacy that is hard to react to with anything but admiration, and it's certainly a style of film-making that will never be utilised again. This film is, actually, not based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe; but one by the almost equally excellent HP Lovecraft. You will notice Poe's name on the posters, but that's nothing more than a ploy by American International to ensure that people went to see it. However, whoever wrote it is inconsequential, because it's incredible whatever. From the moment it begins, with an incredibly malevolent Vincent Price being burned for witchcraft shortly after putting a curse on the village of Arkham in one of the man's finest monologues ever; this film grabs you doesn't let go until the words 'The End' appear on your screen. The subject of witchcraft and burning witches has, and will always be absolutely fascinating and this film capitalises on that. Adding to the intrigue is some otherworldly creatures in the basement that Price feeds young women to, and a village full of deformed residents! Lovecraft's Necronomicon joins the party as well...
I don't know how much American International paid Vincent Price for making this and other Corman films, but whatever it was, it wasn't enough. Price holds the viewer's attention like no other actor has ever, and probably will ever do again. He handles his dual role fantastically, and switches between the darkly macabre and an innocent naivety at the drop of a hat. Also joining in the fun is fellow horror legend, Lon Chaney; who puts in a delightful performance and provides most of the scares! Corman does an absolutely fantastic job of building atmosphere in this movie, and the village of Arkham is constantly foreboding and intriguing. The use of smoke is right on cue; as is the music, which is massively over the top; but very, very effective. The problem with many horror films is that in spite of being excellent, they're often not very frightening; but there's one sequence in this film that sees a bunch of deformed villagers surround Price and his wife that is positively nightmare inducing! I have nothing but respect and admiration for this picture as it is an immense achievement in Corman's Poe cycle, and don't let the fact that it's not a Poe story put you off - if you're a fan of Price, Corman or just low budget atmospheric horror in general, see this film NOW!
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