Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Roger Corman's last take on a Poe story is surprisingly its most persuasive. It makes the most out of its location by boasting some great atmosphere in both its shots of the English countryside and the gothic castle inside. Plus some great performances from the lead stars Vincent Price and Elizabeth Shepard. It is a great adaptation of the short story with some actual haunts. The film takes a gradual turn into horror, and for a small budget it looks good doing so.
A moody and stylish atmosphere keep this one moving. While Price is morose and driven, it is not quite as good as the best Poe adaptations he did with Roger Corman. It's still a very good movie. It's just no Masque of the Red Death or House of Usher.
By the time "The Tomb of Ligeia" rolled into U.S. theaters at the beginning of 1965, director Roger Corman had had it with adapting the works of Edgar Allen Poe for American International Pictures. A series beginning in 1960 with the excellent "House of Usher," Corman, with Vincent Price by his side, released one or two pictures a year devoted to bringing Poe's most unearthly stories to life. Some remain to be magnificent ("The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Masque of Red Death") and some are relatively subpar ("The Terror," "The Premature Burial").
But perpetual is the mark Corman and Price made on modern horror. Though touches of camp sometimes seep into the nuclei of their collaborations, presented are mature tales of terror made with wit and style, flashes of schlock kept at a minimum. Considering their generally low budgets and their fundamental lack of star power (save for Price's always winning presence), the nine films that comprise the official Poe saga comprehensively stand as one of the most ambitious, and most inexplicably overlooked, statements of the horror genre.
That being said, "The Tomb of Ligeia" concludes the series not with a bang but with a whimper. Appearing to be more strung together than thoroughly lavish akin to its earlier counterparts, it's a creepshow with moments of superlative imagery that ultimately proves to mostly be without a personality and mostly be without a sense of fun nor urgency. Corman felt no different. He found Price, despite his admiration for the actor, too old for the part. And in spite of believing it to be among the finest of the Poe cycle, he deemed the film to be "overly complicated" and the result of a franchise "running out of steam."
"The Tomb of Ligeia's" not so much bad as it is mostly uninteresting; too short in length to feel like much more than an exercise and too visually familiar to stand apart from its worthier ancestors, it fatigues more than it excites. An unheard of proclamation, especially in the face of a Price vehicle.
Here he headlines as Verden Fell, a bourgeois Englishman mourning the recent death of his beloved wife, Ligeia. Due to her youth and her atheism, a sense of ambiguity hovers in the air - Fell has a strange feeling that Ligeia isn't so much dead as she is part of the in-between, her spirit remaining restless until her time on Earth is given a satisfying end of sorts. For now, though, Fell is forced to grapple with his tizzy of emotions, which have effectively turned him into an unstable semi-agoraphobe.
Shortly into his period of grief does he, against better judgment, become acquainted with - and eventually fall in love with - the beautiful Rowena (Elizabeth Shepherd), an independent redhead who, unsettlingly, is identical to Fell's dead wife. A brief time later are Fell and Rowena married. But since saying "I do" to someone who looks exactly like your old betrothed when you're still getting over that said betrothed is not such a good decision to make, the union proves to be toxic and the basis of an apparently endless nightmare for the innocent Rowena.
But Rowena's never much developed as much more than your typical damsel in distress; Shepherd is miles more interesting when embodying Ligeia, who speaks like the leader of a Satanic cult and who looks like an Elvira of the everyday. It's even more problematic, then, that Price's Fell is without much dimension, either. To us, he's a sunglasses wearing loon with a very rational fear of felines, given gusto by Price but never enough to make him as compelling as the latter's later seen Dr. Phibes or Edward Lionheart.
And so "The Tomb of Ligeia" whirls around in a tub of cinematic intrigue to never actually become intriguing in and of itself. Certain scenes shine, from its brilliantly theatrical climax to its initial introduction to Ligeia. But a handful of well-mounted sequences don't so much make for a worthy viewing, and the film definitively feels like the result of a filmmaker trying to churn a movie out.
Really boring. That's about it. Drawn and dragged out and not that great at all. Confusing and convoluted. The plot doesn't leave for a good movie. I can't recommend this one unless you're a huge Vincent Price fan like me!
Don't really have much to say about this one. It's a classic Vincent Price/Roger Corman movie that takes on Edgar Allen Poe. There were tons of these movies and they're mostly pretty good (even if they have little to do with the stories they're titled after). Like all those other movies, there are great set pieces with stone abbeys, castles, and tombs covered in cobwebs and shadows. These movies always have a great atmosphere and mood. And, as usual, Vincent Price is great in the lead role. This movie gets a bit slow about midway through when he marries his new wife, but the finale picks up at the end. My biggest concern with the movie was the lack of understanding of the new wife's motivation. Was she trying to drive him mad? Was it all an innocent mistake? Maybe I missed something (I'm sure I did as I watched this early in the day and was sort of in the middle of things while watching it). Still, great movie that's worth checking out if you love these old Price movies.
Not my favorite of the Poe/Price films, but there's some decent bits. Plus it's a Team Sleep song, so it gets bonus points from me... lol
The Tomb of Ligeia was the last of the Roger Corman/Vincent Price/Edgar Allen Poe films and it's arguably the most mediocre of the bunch. It feels as if there's nothing left and they keep squeezing they turnip to find something more. This one in particular seemed to drag on a lot more than it should have, despite being ninety minutes long. Price plays his usual troubled character with a past and a pretty lady by his side who wants to help him. It's the same old territory and it doesn't feel fresh in any way. It just feels tired, so it's probably a good thing that they stopped making these films when they did. I love them all, but this is one that I don't see all that often. There's not much redeeming value to it.
Corman and Price team up for the final time for a Poe adaptation, and it is another stylish and well made horror picture. Price is a little old for the role he is playing, but that is a minor problem here. Corman shot the film in Britain with real locations, and that gives this film it's own style apart from the other adaptations, which were mostly studio bound. It isn't my favorite Corman/Poe film, but it is quite good in itself.
excellent conclusion to the 8 movies of edgar allen poe and roger corman
Roger Corman's final Edgar Allan Poe film, adapted here by the great Robert Towne. Vincent Price plays a man obsessed with his dead wife and is convinced she is not dead, even after he remarries. It's not a campy Poe film, like "The Raven," but a more serious one like "Fall of the House of Usher." Good stuff if this type of film is your cup of tea.