Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Series: Corman's Poe Cycle

Review: Premature Burial (1962)

Premature Burial poster

Of the myriad number of authors in the realm of horror fiction, none have been better at examining and exposing the powerful demons within the human psyche than the legendary Edgar Allan Poe. Few filmmakers have been more adept at transferring Poe's stories to the big screen than Roger Corman. After huge financial successes with Fall of the House of Usher (1960) and Pit and The Pendulum (1961), it was little surprise that Corman would continue to mine Poe for box office cash in 1962 with the intense and disturbing Premature Burial.(read more...)

Review: The Haunted Palace (1963)

Haunted Palace poster

Roger Corman, despite his myriad of other films, will always be remembered for the Poe Cycle of the 1960s. Spooky stories, opulent sets, and Vincent Price's languid mannerisms – the Gothic beauty of Edgar Allan Poe, all shot in 2.35:1 with a generous use of deep focus. However, like any good family, even the Poe Cycle has its black sheep. The Haunted Palace, despite bearing the name of Poe poem, stands apart from the rest of the Cycle in themes, mood and atmosphere. That's because no one does horror quite like Howard Phillips Lovecraft.(read more...)

Review: The Terror (1963)

The Terror poster

When Roger Corman completed filming The Raven in 1963, it turned out that star Boris Karloff still had two days left to go on his contract for the picture. Not wishing to waste those two days, Corman, and four other uncredited directors, improvised a script and filmed a new film; thus was born The Terror.  Corman used sets, crewmembers, and cast members from The Raven. The film itself is an interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying, trip through the familiar ideas of Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films, with the tried and true motifs of the lonely traveler and the man with repressed guilt manifesting itself. Although it is well acted and directed, The Terror does not offer enough shocks to justify its name.(read more...)

Review: The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Masque of the Red Death poster

In the 1960s, Roger Corman directed a series of films based on the works of American Gothic author Edgar Allan Poe. While not always accurate to the source material, the Poe Cycle has come to represent the pinnacle of Corman's directorial career, and, of these films, The Masque of the Red Death is the piece de resistance. The most faithful of the Poe adaptations, Masque uses a combination of scenery and characters to explore the darker themes originally put forth by Poe himself.(read more...)

Review: The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

Tomb of Ligeia

As Roger Corman's Tomb of Ligeia opens, one striking difference between this film and Corman's other Edgar Allan Poe films becomes immediately apparent. Shooting on location, in the honest-to-gosh English countryside, the director has unbound Ligeia from the stagy, claustrophobic studio sets that marked the rest of the series. Indeed, the entire first reel takes place outdoors. Unfortunately, the change is merely cosmetic, and the result is a lackluster ending to a classic cycle of horror movies.(read more...)

Review: Fall of the House of Usher (1960)

Fall of the House of Usher poster

In the early 1960s, low-budget filmmaker Roger Corman convinced American International Pictures to give him enough money to fund a movie based on Edgar Allan Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher." The film would be entirely in color, a first for AIP, and would also feature something unheard of for such a low budget studio: a star.
(read more...)

Review: The Raven (1963)

Raven 1963 poster

For the fifth entry in his cycle of Edgar Allan Poe films, Roger Corman decided to take a new tact. Instead of an atmospheric, haunting chiller set in a Gothic castle, he made a wacky, slapstick comedy set in two Gothic castles. The results are enjoyable, if not always successful.

Sorcerer Dr. Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price) mourns the loss of his beloved wife Lenore (Hazel Court). Fellow magician Dr. Bedlo (Peter Lorre), who gets transformed into a raven more than he'd like, breaks the fugue state by informing Craven that Lenore isn't dead - she's living it up in the company of the sinister Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff). Soon, it's off to Scarabus's domicile and into mayhem, mishaps, and magical duels.(read more...)

Review: Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Pit and the Pendulum 1961

There are occasions when separating oneself from a film review is nigh-on impossible. This is one of those times. After The Wolf Man, Roger Corman's Pit and the Pendulum was the second horror film I ever saw in its entirety - an experience that solidified not only my adoration for the genre, but also my lifelong love for all things Vincent Price. Watching it again caused a wave of nostalgia that overcame the movie's occasionally creaky dialogue and dusty first half. There are simply films that are so much better than their flaws -- indeed, better because of their flaws. This is one of them.(read more...)

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