“The boundaries which divide life from death are best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends and the other begins?”- Edgar Allan Poe
Perhaps no other director explored the bizarre, grotesque and terrifying tales of Edgar Allan Poe than the Master of American low budget horror, Roger Corman. Beginning with ‘House of Usher’, this is Corman’s last of ‘Poe’ adaptation series, starring the legendary and irreplaceable evil Vincent Price. The film manages to bring the solid macabre and gothic horror environment to screen like Mario Bava’s some of brilliant films. There’s so much diversion and liberty taken to Poe’s original story, which is overall an idolatrous passionate romance of dead wife and alive longing husband than just usual horror. The addition of other characters, framing the countenance of Price with the pair of completely eye covering dark glasses, use of black cat as spirit in disguise and conflagration showdown at the climax is all product of screenplay writer Robert Towne and Paul Mayersberg. However they manage to implicate the idea of Poe’s tale to suit Corman’s low budget shocker.
But above all like many of well made Corman-Poe cycle, the film strongly delivers compelling sense of grotesque atmosphere with brilliant gothic setting of ruined abbey surrounded by cemetery, arresting use of colours, camera movements and above all the screen presence of Vincent Price at centre. The bizarre phantasmagoria and that hypnotism scene is just awesome highlight of the film! Recommended to all freak fanatics!