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Tales of Terror


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Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage, Peter Lorre, Joyce Jameson
  • Directors: Roger Corman
  • Writers: Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson
  • Producers: Roger Corman, James H. Nicholson, Samuel Z. Arkoff
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: April 1 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792845625
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,979 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: VHS Tape
Vincent Price leads an all-star cast in this horror film. Price appears in all three segments. In the first, he plays a man named "Locke" who blames the death of his wife on his daughter who's just came back after 26 years. This is great, verbal horror sort of like a throwback to "Night Gallery" or other dramatic anthology shows, where the horror is in the character's personality and not in the graphics. only the final minutes does the story turn into what AIP movie goers expect. The second story, as has been voted by mostly all on here, is the stand-out. Peter Lorre and Joyce Jameson team up with Vincent in a re-telling of "Cask of Amontillado" but re-titled "The Black Cat". If you've heard or read the story, you pretty much know what's going to happen...the wine tasting scene is hilarious. The final segment offers Basil Rathbone and Vincent although Rathbone has the most action as Price's character, Valdemar, is bed-ridden. Rathbone plays an evil mesmerist who mentally tortures Valdemar's wife and keeps Valdemar in suspended animation you could say in an effort to kill him and run off with the wife! The segment ends with a memorable scene that isn't really sick...but it's not for the squeamish, either! It's one of Rathbone's finest roles, aside from Sherlock Holmes and the hilarious nut-case character in "Comedy of Terrors". This film came along in 1962. At 85 minutes in length, it's short for a feature-length film...but the material and the first-rate acting by everyone make it seem even SHORTER!!
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Format: VHS Tape
What happens when you take great actors (Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone), a great writer (Richard Matheson), great source material (E.A. Poe) and a passable director (Roger Corman) and have them make a movie? Nothing very good, as it turns out.
This movie is actually three short movies linked by Price's narration. The first story deals with a young woman who returns to the home of her father, a recluse tormented by the death of his wife; how she died is not really clear, but she is nonetheless intent on revenge. The second story - the best of the three - is a take-off on the Cask of Amontillado with Lorre as a murderous drunk. The final story has Rathbone as a mesmerist who traps Price in a state between life and death.
All three stories have potential, the first and last for horror, and the middle one for humor. Unfortunately, none of the stories are executed well, a fault that seems to lie primarily with Corman. For fans of the Poe movies of the sixties (directed primarily by Corman), this might be worth watching, but for horror fans, it is best to look elsewhere.
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Format: DVD
Directed by the venerable king of quality low-budget filmmaking, Roger Corman, and scripted by the prolific and popular SF and horror writer Richard Matheson, TALES OF TERROR is comprised of three vignettes based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe. The incomparable Vincent Price stars in all three, with Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone each co-starring (separately, alas) in one of the others. Any knowledgeable horror fans should be nearly euphoric after reading the credentials behind this flick--and they won't be disappointed!
The first story is based on Poe's "Morella," but Corman and Matheson take great liberties to make the tale darker and scarier than the original. Unfortunately, the altered plot and its resolution (?) are a bit hard to follow, and it is therefore the weaker of the three plays.
The second--and best!--vignette, "The Black Cat" is actually a composite of Poe's story of the same name and his "The Cask of Amontillado." Peter Lorre hilariously hams it up as the cuckolded Montresor Herringbone, and Vincent Price is also a riot as Herringbone's nemesis, Fortunato. In spite of the humor, however, there are still plenty of chills when Lorre builds a wall around his "problems."
The final vignette, based on Poe's "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," features the wonderful Basil Rathbone as the hypnotist who uses his powers to put the titular character, Valdemar (portrayed by Price), in a sort of limbo between life and death. Again, Corman and Matheson have taken liberties with the original story (e.g., making the hypnotist malevolent and self-serving), but this time it's to great effect, as Rathbone makes a delightfully devilish villain. The make-up job on Price in the final scene is pretty creepy, too, in spite of the film's low-budget effects.
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Format: DVD
Interesting but lame all-star trio of Poe stories that kids may find fun. Admittedly bravura cast saddled with tame treatment of Poe tales tries to make good but ultimately sink beneath the silliness. The script (by the normally reliable Richard Matheson) could have been a lot better. First story "Morella" features a horrible actress named Maggie Pierce who cannot hold her own with Vincent Price. The next two stories are tritely handled and so tame they're boring. Price (who's in all three), Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone liven things up a bit but the results are disappointing on an adult level. The Corman touches are here but the film has a low budget quickie feel. Watch "Tomb of Ligeia" for a "Morella" type tale and stick with the other Corman/Price/Poe adaptations--they're more sophisticated and SO much better. As for this?---leave it for the kids.
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