Poe in the Cinema: “Tales of Terror” (1962)


    Sharing the portmanteau format that would later characterize the more prestigious but less successful “Histoires extraordinaires“, Roger Corman’s “Tales of Terror”- his fourth of what would become his eight film Edgar Allan Poe cycle -announces the depiction of three Poe short stories- Morella, The Black Cat and The Facts in the Case of V. Valdemar -but also injects unmistakeable elements from The Cask of Amontillado. The lack of strict fidelity to the content of the individual stories is common in the Corman/Poe canon, and the second segment of the film, depicting The Black Cat creatively uses the story elements in a surprisingly successful tonal shift to comedy that would predate the subsequent effort in the cycle, “The Raven”, while developing comic elements that would be expanded in the later non-Poe film,  Jacques Tourneur underrated black comedy “The Comedy of Terrors”. As is common with the anthology format, there is bound to be a wide variance of results, and this film is no exception. The film is notable for a greater fidelity to the substance of Poe’s stories as true adaptations rather than as the more accurate  description of films “suggested” by his stories as could legitimately ascribed to the majority of the Corman series, with the exception of “House of Usher” and the unusual case of “The Haunted Palace”, which except for the title lifted from a poem later interpolated into the story The Fall of the House of Usher, takes its narrative source, not from Poe at all, but from Lovecraft and his The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

To read the complete review, simply click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandler-swain-reviews-drive-in-cinema-2/chandler-swain-reviews-nites-at-the-natick-drive-in/chandler-swain-reviews-nites-at-the-bellingham-drive-in/

About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in books, Edgar Allan Poe, Film, Film Reviews, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Poe in the Cinema, Reviews, Roger Corman, vincent price and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Poe in the Cinema: “Tales of Terror” (1962)

  1. Pingback: Tackling Poe: The Complete Works, Part 7 | Alex Hurst ~ Musings from the East

  2. Teepee12 says:

    THE hokiest movies EVER made.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.