Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Haunted Palace (1963)

Starring Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney, Jr., Frank Maxwell, Leo Gordon
Directed by Roger Corman
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A century after the villagers of Arkham burned an evil warlock at the stake, his descendant inherits the warlock's palace and is possessed by the evil man's spirit.

Although promoted as another Edgar Allan Poe adaptation for star Vincent Price and director Roger Corman, Wikipedia indicates this is in reality an adaptation of a H.P. Lovecraft horror story, although one of Poe's poems is incorporated into the screenplay.  As such it's far different from the rest of Price and Corman's Poe films, avoiding the gothic sense of dread prevalent in those adaptations, with the focus on the warlock's schemes for revenge and to mate innocent female victims to supernatural demons.  As with the other Poe/Corman movies, the set design is first rate, and this entry boasts a music score by Ronald Stein which I enjoyed and found perfect for the film.  Although it ends in a rather ambiguous conclusion, and the demon's appearance at the film's climax is rather disappointing, this is a nice departure from the norm for the Poe series, and I enjoyed it on that level.

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