HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mission, The
Wild Life, The
Eve of Destruction
Mad Death, The
Lost in Vagueness
Sleeping Beauty
Allure
In Search of Dracula
Fantastic Woman, A
Emmanuelle II
Far from Vietnam
Inherit the Wind
Post, The
King Frat
Commuter, The
Mister Buddwing
Kiki's Delivery Service
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S
Mansfield 66/67
Old Enough
Bleeding Steel
Double Hour, The
My Generation
Geostorm
Pendulum
Certain Magical Index: The Movie - The Miracle of Endymion, A
That Good Night
Psychopath, The
My Beloved Bodyguard
.44 Specialist, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
   
 
  Haunted Palace, The Whatever Possessed Him?Buy this film here.
Year: 1963
Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr, Frank Maxwell, Leo Gordon, Elisha Cook Jr, Milton Parsons, John Dierkes, Cathie Merchant, Darlene Lucht, Barboura Morris, Bruno VeSota, I. Stanford Jolley
Genre: Horror, Historical
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: In the 18th Century American village of Arkham, the locals are suspicious of the owner of the palace on the cliff top, Joseph Curwen (Vincent Price). They believe he is a warlock who has been planning to sacrifice a young woman he has placed under a trance, and they're not far wrong. Arriving at the palace doors that night, they are greeted by Curwen and his mistress, and decide to take the law into their own hands. Curwen is dragged out, bound to a tree and burned alive, but not before he places a curse on the village...

Although Edgar Allan Poe's name is on this film, technically it's not part of producer and director Roger Corman's Poe cycle, because this tale was actually based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, adapted by Charles Beaumont. That's not to say it shares none of the same traits with the Poe films, because once again there is the stifling influence of the death and the dead hanging over the characters, only here mixed with the dark, Lovecraftian Gods who dwell on the other side of reality, biding their time until they manage to break through.

One hundred and ten years later, Curwen's great-great grandson Charles Dexter Ward (also played by Price) arrives in Arkham accompanied by his wife (Debra Paget), after inheriting the palace. The villagers make no gestures towards welcoming them, as they are suffering the curse of Curwen that leaves many of them mutated, as though the curse involves inbreeding, especially as the same actors play the descendants of the people who put the warlock to death.

Now Ward is here, the spirit of Curwen begins to possess him. The caretaker of the palace is Simon, played by Lon Chaney Jr, and it's one of the pleasures of this film that we get to see Chaney and Price in scenes together, even if Chaney looks ill (and not because of his green faced makeup, either). Simon is in fact one of the warlocks who was originally in league with Curwen, and he wastes no time in bringing him back.

Curwen is one of Price's most despicable characters, and even Price's charm can't take the edge off of the warlock's drive for vengeance, which not only has him burning the descendants of his tormentors to death, but also sacrificing Mrs Ward. Corman relies heavily on atmosphere, meaning a lot of wandering about in the cavernous, cobwebby, shadowy sets, but he's not above the odd shock to relieve the tension.

The film is less concerned with the demon in the cellar than with the insidious evil of Curwen, and manages a number of creepy scenes, such as the Wards being advanced upon by the mutants, that make this worthwhile, and better than its unfairly obscure reputation would have you expect. It's definitely one of the best (if looser) Lovecraft adaptations, even if the oppressive sense of overwhelming, otherworldly evil is largely substituted with something more man made. Music by Ronald Stein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5827 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roger Corman  (1926 - )

Legendary American B-Movie producer and director who, from the fifties onwards, offered low budget thrills with economy and flair. Early films include It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors and X. The Intruder was a rare attempt at straightforward social comment.

Come the sixties, Corman found unexpected respectability when he adapted Edgar Allan Poe stories for the screen: House of Usher, Pit and The Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death and The Tomb of Ligeia among them, usually starring Vincent Price. He even tried his hand at counterculture films such as The Wild Angels, The Trip and Gas!, before turning to producing full time in the seventies.

Many notable talents have been given their break by Corman, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Monte Hellman, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, James Cameron and Peter Bogdanovich. Corman returned to directing in 1990 with the disappointing Frankenstein Unbound.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
   

 

Last Updated: