Three horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the first story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of himself, his fiancee ... See full summary »
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
Roger Corman decided to do an H.P. Lovecraft story as a break from his Edgar Allan Poe series while keeping the elements that made it successful. American-International took no chances. It gave the film a "Poe" title and marketed it as another in the series. 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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Roger Corman directed this film in the midst of his Poe cycle. It has most of the typical features of those films. Lots of eerie atmosphere, swirling fogs, and wonderfully painted back-drops, a fine acting troupe headed by the incomparable Vincent Price, and ably assisted by a sober-looking Lon Chaney Jr. and a beautiful Debra Paget, a fairly tight script, a marvellous score by Ronald Stein, and always the look of a lot of money spent despite the knowledge that you know it was cheaply made. The film is titled based on a small Poe poem found within "The Fall of the House of Usher" and this film has little to do with it. It really is much more of an H. P. Lovecraft film as its main protagonist is called Charles Dexter Ward(Price), but also bears little relation to that great story. It does, however, incorporate many Lovecraftian touches. The names of characters and the town(Arkham) come from the works of Lovecraft, as does the plot thread dealing with an elder god of sorts in a well for the purpose of breeding and the fabled book of supernatural knowledge, the Necromonicon. Despite the complexity and borrowing nature of the script, the story makes sense and is entertaining. Vincent Price plays a man with two personalities, and he does so brilliantly. As always, he is a joy to watch. The rest of the cast is very good. One scene in particular stands out as Price and Paget walk alone in the streets of Arkham only to be slowly surrounded by human mutants. The scene is quite eerie with all its swirling fog, and creeping pace.
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