This blog is a place for Me to review classic British films (in particular horror films) by Hammer, Amicus and the like. But I will occasionally branch out and review international films as these are the international counterpart to the British films, some of which will include works by American International Pictures, Mario Bava et al. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Tomb of Ligeia

After the death of his wife; Ligeia, Verden Fell is both in a state of mourning and a state or concern for his life. Before Ligeia died, she appeared reluctant to die and made blasphemous claims towards God. Verden meets a young woman, Rowena Travenion, who resembles his Ligeia, he later marries her against the will of his dead wife, who's spirit haunts the abbey in which they live. They both witness strange goings on, Verden in particular; visions, loss of memory, violent outbursts, even the presence of a strange and sometimes violent cat, all of which he believes to be the doings of Ligeia's unresting soul. In the end Verden must face Ligeia in a bid to stop her cursed reign upon the abbey.

The Tomb of Ligeia is a 1964 American International Pictures film. It was directed by Roger Corman and starred Vincent Price as Verden Fell and Elizabeth Shepherd as Rowena Trevanion and Ligeia. This is one of several Edgar Allen Poe adaptations directed by Roger Cormen and starring Vincent Price.

All in all it wasn't bad, the pre-credits sequence caught my interest right away, which was where they were burying Ligeia's body and there was the telling of how her burial here will be against the will of God due to her blasphemous final words which then were engraved upon her tombstone. But after that I found I began to lose interest a little, obviously it picked up at various points, but it wasn't until part way through that it regained my full interest. I found that it got a lot better as it went along, from around about the mid way point right up until the climactic ending.

As of this moment, I have seen very little of the Price/Croman adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe tales, so unfortunately I have very little to compare it to. The only other one I have seen is Tales of Terror, which I found to be rather disappointing, possibly due to it not being what I expected, but I'll go more into Tales of Terror when I come to reviewing it. So ignoring that adaptation, I have nothing to compare the quality of this one to in order to determine whether it was better or worse than previous works they had made. At the time, the American International Pictures films were somewhat an American counterpart to that of the British productions made by Hammer and the like, which to that end I much prefer the works of the British, I may be slightly bias being British and all, but from what I've seen so far, I find the British ones more entertaining and thrilling. Not to say I don't like the American films, because I very much do, but I favour the British equivalent that bit more, I find them more atmospheric and eerie, and I just very much like the style of Hammer, as in the ways they use pounding loud music, and most of all their no care in the world approach to using graphic violence of which they always progressed with, each time pushing the barrier that bit further, many a time too far resulting in scenes being cut down or even removed entirely.

All in all, The Tomb of Ligeia wasn't bad, I rather liked it, it's not the best Vincent Price film I've seen so far, but I'd say if you like Vincent Price films then it's worth a look. Vincent Price as ever in his films gives a good performance, hamming it up all the way of course but that's what we, the fans of Vincent Price, love about him and his films. And that's what keeps us wanting to see more and more of his work, I know it's what keeps me watching.

The Tomb of Ligeia 3/5

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