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Loosly based on H.P. Lovecraft's short story "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
When there is a shot through the fireplace, the evenly spaced flames reveal that a flame bar is being used in front of the lens. See more »
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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Entertaining and atmospheric (albeit loose) adaptation of Lovecraft's 'The Strange Case Of Charles Dexter Ward'.
Roger Corman rarely gets the credit he deserves. While best known for the dozens of schlocky exploitation movies he was involved in as a producer, he also directed several underrated films, including his excellent Edgar Allen Poe series in the 1960s. 'The Haunted Palace' is really only a part of that series in name only. It takes its title from a Poe poem, but it's plot is (very loosely) adapted from H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Strange Case Of Charles Dexter Ward' by Charles Beaumont. Beaumont, a talented writer of short stories also scripted Corman's best Poe movie 'The Masque Of The Red Death'. As I said this is only loosely based on Lovecraft's original source material (a slightly more faithful version can be seen in Dan O'Bannon's 'The Resurrected', also recommended), but I'm sure most Lovecraft buffs will get a kick out of watching this, which is as far as I know the very first movie inspired by his fiction. Vincent Price stars in a duel role of Ward and his ancestor Joseph Curwen, and gives an enjoyable performance. Price really seemed to like working with Corman and gave the director some of his best work. I watched an old VHS print of this, but, like the Poe movies, it still looked like another great effort for a very limited budget. The supporting cast is worth noting - the beautiful Debra Paget, and legendary character actors Lon Chaney ('Spider Baby'), Elisha Cook, Jr ('The Killing') and Leo Gordon ('Kitten With A Whip'). 'The Haunted Palace' is another excellent Corman movie that still has a lot of entertainment value. Highly recommended to all Vincent Price and H.P. Lovecraft fans.
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