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Tales of Terror

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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 21 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0792845625
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,909 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

When you've got Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, and Peter Lorre all in the same movie, how can you go wrong? Tales of Terror is a trio of Edgar Allen Poe stories, starring three of horror's greats and produced and directed by the immortal 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 flavor 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 (bad idea). The movie is well paced, and makes good use of comedy without undercutting its chills. It's a rare treat to see this many masters of the genre working together and so clearly enjoying themselves. Don't miss it. --Ali Davis

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
TALES OF TERROR [1962 / 2015] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] A Trilogy of Shock and Horror!

In his earlier Edgar Allan Poe films, Roger Corman took short stories by the great Gothic master and expanded them into full-length features. Here, by contrast, the stories stay short, the only other thing they have in common being the participation of Vincent Price.

In Morella, Vincent Price plays a tormented man forced to confront a dark family secret when his long-estranged daughter tracks him down. In 'The Black Cat,' he's the rakish lover of the wife of Peter Lorre, who naturally plots a deadly revenge. And in the title role of 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,' Vincent Price tries to relieve chronic pain by asking Basil Rathbone to hypnotise him, something that leaves poor Valdemar hovering on the border between the dead and the living.

Roger Corman's previous Edgar Allan Poe films were played completely straight, and parts of 'TALES OF TERROR' are as authentically creepy as any of them. But he also stirred comedy into the Edgar Allan Poe brew for the first time, particularly in the scenes between Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. Narrated by Vincent Price.

FILM FACT: Patricia Medina was originally cast as Helene in the episode "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" but was replaced by Debra Paget. The British censor deleted the gruesome final shot from the "M. Valdemar" segment and substituted it with a fade to black. "The Black Cat" has been adapted to film numerous times with varying degrees of faithfulness to the original story. The most famous version is Edgar G. Ulmer's 1934 version with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.
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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: 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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