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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Haunted Palace (1963)

In 18th century New England, a warlock (Vincent Price) is burned at the stake by the town's citizens. But not before he puts a curse on them and their ancestors and vows to return. A hundred years later, his ancestor (also Price) returns with his new bride (Debra Paget) to take possession of the warlock's palace. Although titularly based on the poem of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe, the film itself is based on H.P. Lovecraft's novella, THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD. But there's very little difference between this film and the Poe films director Roger Corman was making around this time. It's heavy on style and atmosphere but not much else. Price is quite good playing the nice Ward attempting to stave off possession of his evil ancestor but not succeeding. But the real star of the film is art director Daniel Haller whose dark, many chambered palace is a real doozy as well as his fog shrouded village. Ronald Stein did the score and Floyd Crosby the evocative wide screen Panavision lensing. With Leo Gordon, Elisha Cook and Lon Chaney Jr.

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