August 20th, 2012: The Haunted Palace (1963)

Cast and Crew:   Charles Beaumont (Screenplay); James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff (Executive Producers); Lon Chaney Jr., Elisha Cook Jr.

What It’s About:  Charles Dexter Ward (Vincent Price) returns with his wife Ann (Debra Paget) to his ancestral home of Arkham, where he finds that his ancestor Joseph Curwin (Vincent Price) was a devil worshiper burned at the stake by villagers.  Is Curwin really dead, and what of the curse on the village the creates mutants?

Why Watch it Today?: Author H. P. Lovecraft was born today in 1890.  Although The Haunted Palace makes use of the Edgar Allan Poe poem of the same name in its prologue, its real inspiration is the works of Lovecraft (chiefly The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, but with fragments of The Shadow Over Innsmouth thrown in for good measure).  While it’s hard to say that the film is either respectful or faithful to its source, it is a fun entry in Roger Corman’s 1960s Poe cycle and emphasizes the elements of Lovecraft’s work that most fit in with the 1960s Gothic horror sub-genre.

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2 comments on “August 20th, 2012: The Haunted Palace (1963)

  1. retrozombi says:

    How did I miss this one? I love Vincent Price Poe movies!

    • professormortis says:

      Not sure-it’s definitely one of the AIP’s “Poe” series, even without the Poe, but it’s not quite as good as the best, even if I like it better than some of the ones considered the best (The Raven, The Pit and The Pendulum). Worth a look if you’ve seen the others though!

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