For the fourth of his Poe films, Corman adopted a portmanteau front and introduced, into the second of his three stories, a vein of grisly black comedy that would reappear more successfully in the later The Raven. The first tale, Morella, has Price as a typically necrophile introvert mourning the death in childbirth of his mummified wife until his long banished daughter returns to the fold; in The Black Cat, Lorre dominates as the drunkard who reacts to Price's adulterous liaison with his wife by walling the couple up in his wine cellar; and in The Case of M Valdemar, a dead Price exacts revenge on the hypnotist who sent his soul to eternal limbo with a view to stealing his wife. Stylish and fun, but the short story format denies Corman the stately, melancholy pace that distinguished his best work in the cycle.
Cast and crew
Vincent Price Peter Lorre Basil Rathbone Debra Paget Joyce Jameson