For my finale of good/bad movies for the Halloween season, I’m selecting another Vincent Price movie, but also a couple movies with Boris Karloff (we CANNOT leave him out), and Jack Nicholson, who got his start with Roger Corman in another B-movie classic, Little Shop of Horrors. Both of these films are Roger Corman directed and produced, too.
The Raven, 1963 – I discussed this at length on my second, recent FB live, so here’s what I said, basically: The Raven is often parceled on DVD with another horror-comedy called The Comedy of Terrors, which I don’t like nearly as much. The Raven is a true horror comedy B-movie. Richard Matheson wrote the script around the Poe poem The Raven, of course having to add a whole story around the concept of a Raven flying into a room. It stars Vincent Price, BORIS KARLOFF and JACK NICHOLSON!!!…who both also shot The Terror with Corman. Back to The Raven, PETER LORRE also starred, along with Hazel Court—she also shot Masque of the Red Death and Premature Burial with Corman, but those of you who enjoy other horror films from the 60s (including Hammer productions, I believe) are probably familiar with her. The Raven premise? Dueling wizards—one good (Vincent), one evil (Boris) and one bumbling (Peter). Highly recommended for a silly good time, you’ll feel like you’re at a drive-in movie circa 1963.
(An aside) – My play and now also a novella, Horror at Terror Creek is heavily influenced by Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe productions—the colourful set dec touches contrasted against a dark, broody castle or mansion, particularly the garishly bright candle sticks that were used—that sticks out in my mind the most. The candles were often a different, primary colour for each separate room.
The Terror, 1963 – a good year for this kind of stuff, apparently. Also the year the world got Dr. Who, by the way. As mentioned above, Boris and Jack both also shot The Terror with Corman either shortly before or shortly after The Raven—now, The Terror is a ridiculously silly-fun movie with a hilariously non-sensical plot.