Obviously The Raven is based on the Classic story by Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve long been a fan of Poe. Since my re-awakening into the world of horror movies have grown rather fond of Vincent Price as well. Combining the two would only be a win for me.
From the onset the brilliance of Vincent Price is unmistakable. I view this guy as the elder statesman of horror actors. His performance is beyond perfect for the role. Like Many of Price’s roles he does not rely on gore but it is his acting talent that carries off the roles perfectly.
I have to admit its been decades since I read the original work by Poe but this seems to follow it perfectly. Purists will love this. The plot for those that don’t know follows Dr Erasmus (Price) a magician / doctor who lives with his daughter in a castle. He is still mourning the loss of his beloved Lenore a couple of years after her death. Whilst sitting in his study Erasmus is visited one dark and dreary night by a raven who is in fact a sorcerer in animal form, Bedlo. Bedlo claims to have seen Erasmus’ dead wife walking around town in the very recent past and the pair decide to investigate. The pair decide to visit the castle of a Dr. Scarabus who transformed Bedlo into a raven. The castle is the last suspected location siting of Erasmus’ dead wife.
The Raven is directed by none other than Roger Corman. Initially I found Cormans work to be pulpy. Some of it quite frankly crap. On deeper investigation I found out he also directed the original Piranha. The fact he directed this really raises his esteem in my opinion. I would never have thought Corman could pull off such a brilliant adapatation of Poe’s work. Besides the obvious star power of Vincent price this movie features Boris Karloff and a small role by a then very young Jack Nicholson.
I found the film to be immensely enjoyable. I was immersed in both the story and even more so the incredible performances of the cast of this film. The musical backing to this film is also incredibly haunting and suited to the film. It serves to heighten the already brilliant performances. Whilst this site tends to focus on the gorier aspects of the horror genre, one cannot deny the all round brilliance of this film. All I can do is whole heartedly recommend that you watch this one.
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