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Review: TALES OF TERROR/TWICE-TOLD TALES

This is another of the vintage Vincent Price offerings inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, and in this case Nathanial Hawthorne. Two separate movies, but they’re a package deal, a combo. Available on the same DVD, so I figure I might as well review them both together. Honestly they could easily pass for two installments of the same film, as they are so similar in tone. Probably why they ended up being offered as a double-bill in the first place. Of the two, I liked TWICE-TOLD TALES (that’s the one based on Hawthorne’s stories) the best, although they’re both worthy of a re-watch, or, if you’ve never seen them before, well worth discovering for the first time.

The primary selling point in any Vincent Price film is Price himself. The man was such an underrated talent, and his performances anchor each of the vignettes presented in these two films. The acting overall is quite good, featuring the likes of Sebastian Cabot, Peter Lorre, and Basil Rathbone in supporting roles. The sets and costumes are sumptuous. In no way will it be evident to the viewer that he is watching a low-budget effort, save perhaps for the special effects, but probably not, as these are, proportionate to the budget, just fine and dandy. (Price’s “melting man” at the end of “The Case of M. Valdemar” being a perfect example of how much can be achieved with little money.) Although no actual blood-drinkers are featured, there’s a good bit for the vampire aficionado to appreciate in these productions. Check ‘em out.

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763

MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

TheCheezman • January 5, 2017


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  • Terry Washington

    I rather like the sequence in “The Black Cat” in which Peter Lorre’s character’s wife, after announcing her intention to leave him for Fortunato Lucresi( Vincent Price), says he can no longer mock or wound her- she has found true love with Lucresi!

    • The CheezMan

      I thought it was ingenious how they combined the two Poe stories, “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”