Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tales of Terror (1962)

Tales of Terror (USA, 1962) - Color, Director(s): Roger Corman
MPAA Rating: Approved
[UK: 15]
Approx. 89 min.

Z-rating: 3 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 2 stars out of 5

We're going to kick off Anthology Week with a classic from the 60's. Starring the legendary Vincent Price (The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Pit and The Pendulum), he introduces and stars in each of the three segments. The first segment is about a daughter and her estranged father (Price). He blames her for the death of his beloved wife, Morella, who died during childbirth. The daughter, Lenora, insists on staying and attempts to mend her relationship with her father. Morella's body has not yet been laid to rest and soon her spirit becomes restless.

This first segment had great acting and atmosphere but is easily the weakest of the three, in my opinion. The second segment, "The Black Cat", is about a drunk who comes home only to abuse his wife and take her money so he can go out drinking. After wandering past a wine-tasting event, he challenges an expert wine-taster (Price). Price's character escorts him home and meets his wife, sparking a relationship between the two. The drunk does eventually find out that his wife has been unfaithful and slow plans his revenge...

The last segment is my favorite of the three. Vincent Price plays M. Valdemar, a man who is dying from a painful disease. Hiring a hypnotist to relieve him of this pain, his spirit becomes trapped between this world and the next. The hypnotist refuses to release Valdemar from his trance and uses his influence instead to force Valdemar's wife to marry him. Even in death, a man can only take so much...

Nudity: None. This is a classy movie!

Gore: Being an older movie, there's not much in the way of gore either but some of the make-up is fantastic! Vince Price had a hot, gooey substance poured over his head for one of the shots and could only stand it for a few seconds. That's real dedication to his craft, he actually suffered for it.

Awesome: Very! While I wouldn't say this movie is terrifying, the acting is excellent and the atmosphere is very creepy. This movie might be a little dated by today's standards but you can easily see how this could've been scary back in the day. This would be a good movie to put on at the beginning of a party while waiting for all your guests to arrive. Just a little something to get people in the mood for the rest of the night!