Horrorfest 2022 Presents: The Raven (1963, Roger Corman)


I finally watched Roger Corman’s 1963 horror comedy classic The Raven, which is a delightful movie with a great cast. When Jack Nicholson is a supporting actor in this movie you know you have some stars, that’s for sure. Vincent Price and Peter Lorre¬†play sorcerers battling Boris Karloff¬†in a battle of wits, powers, and even manners. Hazel Court plays Price’s wife who may still be alive, and Olive Sturgess is Price’s daughter. The movie uses the Edgar Allan Poe legendary poem The Raven as it’s main basis, although of course the rest of the movie has nothing to do with the actual story. Richard Matheson wrote the film, so that’s why it has so much good natured and fun humor combined with fantasy and horror movie elements.

In fact this is probably more of a dark comedy than a horror movie, still I counted it as such anyways because this is my Horrorfest and I do what I want. Price vs Karloff is great and all, yet the movie works the best when Lorre and Price are bickering amongst each other back and forth. While Corman and Price made better Poe movies than this one, I think it’s up there amongst their best works and it’s beyond fun to watch. The castle setting is perfect for this movie, and the chair wizard battle scene is marvelous in every way. I saw this thanks to Tubi, and I’m happy to check off another Price movie. It’s a shame he was never nominated for an Oscar.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974, Dan Curtis)


Dan Curtis’ 1974 Dracula made for TV movie is really good despite not coming from Hammer Studios. Jack Palance was pretty solid in the title role, embodying the Count as a primal force of nature. Richard Matherson wrote the screenplay, and Dark Shadows creator Curtis directed, which is a good pairing for a TV film. Dracula is fairly well shot, although the rest of the cast fails to match Palance. Also the story is largely familiar, even though Curtis adds the twist of Dracula and Vlad the Impaler being one and the same, a bit that Francis Ford Coppolla used later for his own Dracula film.

Palance really does take over this film, and some of the shots are rather impressive. Dracula shoving people aside as if they are rag dolls was a cool part, as was some eerie beach shots. Even though this pales in comparison to the best of Hammer’s vampire films, I liked its style. I also miss TV movies, as they were usually major events that used to be featured weekly on television. A relic of a long gone age, much like Dracula himself.

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