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The Comedy of Terrors/The Raven (1964)

Cast: Vincent Price, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, more...
Director: Jacques Tourneur, Jacques Tourneur
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Comedies, Horror, Parodies
Running Time: 169 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

On the verge of bankruptcy, undertaker Vincent Price hits upon a novel method of drumming up business. Together with his cringing assistant Peter Lorre, Price sneaks into the homes of wealthy old men under cover of night and smothers the sleeping occupants to death--then collects a hefty commission when the victims' relatives come calling. At home, Price is continually frustrated in his efforts to poison his senile father-in-law Boris Karloff, who owns the undertaking business. Meanwhile, Price's neglected wife Barbara Nichols takes quite a shine to the shy Lorre. The homicidal undertaker's best-laid schemes go terribly agley when his latest "customer," wealthy Basil Rathbone, doggedly refuses to stay dead. Joe E. Brown has a cameo as a cockney graveyard attendant. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

    (Side A)
  • "Richard Matheson Storyteller: Comedy of Terrors" Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
    (Side B)
  • "Richard Matheson Storyteller: The Raven" Featurette
  • "Cormen's Comedy of Poe" Featurette
  • Promotional Record
  • Theatrical Trailer

GreenCine Member Reviews

Fun Price/Lorre/Karloff double feature by ColonelKong February 9, 2004 - 9:44 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
The Raven is a bit different from the other Corman Poe movies, as it just barely has anything to do with Poe and is pretty much straight comedy with a little bit of horror. In fact, it's almost more like a live-action Warner Brothers cartoon than your typical early 60s gothic horror movie. If you're looking for a good spooky Poe film, rent Corman's Masque of the Red Death, but definitely see this one too if you want to see what I think is the most entertaining film in Corman's Poe cycle. The peformances by Vincent Price (who gets a very funny final line in this film) Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff are very enjoyable, also watch for a young Jack Nicholson. The climactic wizards' duel between Price and Karloff (with some endearingly cheap special effects) is a highlight.

The Comedy of Terrors is the less satisfying of the two movies included on this disc, but it's still a nice bonus. Karloff has a somewhat reduced role in this film, but Basil Rathbone's appearance mostly makes up for it. Some of the gags are repeated a little too often (like Price's wife breaking glass with her horrible singing), and not quite as much fun as The Raven, but still a pretty good horror-tinged comedy ably directed by Jacques Tourneur.

With some of these "two for the price of one" DVDs one (or both) of the films included are often a little on the weak side, but both of these films are solid early 60's comedies, even if The Raven is the main reason to rent this disc (I'd give The Raven an 8 and Comedy of Terrors a 7).

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.44)
36 Votes
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Monster Kids Matinees
The films kids in the 50's and early 60's saw on the big screen in saturday kiddie shows
Richard Matheson: Storyteller
Movies written by and/or based on works by Richard Matheson, one of my favorite writers of science fiction and horror

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