TALES OF TERROR (1962) Reviews and overview

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Tales of Terror is a 1962 American International Pictures (AIP) horror feature film starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Basil Rathbone; it is the fourth in the so-called Corman-Poe cycle of eight films largely featuring adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories directed by Roger Corman.

The first story, “Morella”, involves a girl (Debra Paget) who returns to her isolated, spooky family home to see her estranged father (Price) for the first time in 26 years. He’s let the housekeeping slide a bit–cobwebs abound and, oh, yes, his dead wife is still upstairs.

Peter Lorre joins the fun for “The Black Cat”, a piece with comic flavour that allows Price to show his rarely seen silly side, and then it’s Basil Rathbone’s turn to be creepy in “The Case of M Valdemar”, the tale of a mesmerist who decides to experiment with the unknown…

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“Peter Lorre gives an hilarious performance – the wine-tasting contest between he and Vincent Price is a comic gem. Not to mention the surreal vision of a dream sequence of Vincent Price and wife playing catch with Peter Lorre’s head.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“Tales of Terror is ultimately an effective piece of horror precisely because it has no pretensions; it truly is simply a set of spooky tales, which is precisely what Poe excelled in.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

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A Lancer book novelisation of the film was written by Eunice Sudak (X; The Raven).

Image credits: Zombos’ Closet


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