The voice of Thriller is back!
While this American International Pictures horror classic was released in the US in the summer of 1963, it wasn’t until 21 February 1966 that UK cinemagoers got to enter The Haunted Palace.
In 1875, Charles Dexter Ward (Vincent Price) and his wife Ann (Debra Paget) inherit a mansion in the New England village of Arkham, where they find themselves shunned by the local townspeople who live in fear of a curse placed on them by Charles’ great-great-grandfather Joseph Curwen, a necromancer and warlock, who was burnt at the stake for practising witchcraft 110 years previously.
But, just as the Ward’s decide to pack their bags, Charles is taken over by the spirit of his evil ancestor who then sets out to wreak revenge on those who stopped his ‘work’…
Roger Corman’s sixth Gothic horror in his Edgar Allan Poe cycle, borrows its title from an 1839 poem by the macabre writer, but owes a huge debt to the nightmarish Cthulhu-verse of HP Lovecraft, as it is loosely based on the 1927 novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
With suitably atmospheric cinematography from Floyd Crosby, and probably one of the best film scores ever from Ronald Stein, this entry in the Corman/Price/Poe cycle is a true classic, while the restrained performance by Price in the dual role of the evil Curwen and the ineffectual Charles adds to the sense of underlying horror.
Along for the ride are some genre favourites, Lon Chaney Jr and Elisha Cook Jr (who adds being burnt alive to his many screen deaths), while this was the last film of Debra Paget, who quit acting soon after.
On 21 May 2016, a live musical performance showcasing the velvet voice of Vincent Price was held at the historic King & Queen pub in Fitzrovia.
This collaboration between London-based band The Core and Peter Fuller, curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK community project, took inspiration from the Master of Menace’s performances in his best-known 1960s Gothic chillers and Poe’s classic poem, The Conqueror Worm, to conceive of two ‘Poe-gressive’ compositions utilising sythns and Theremin.
Ahead of the group’s studio recording of these two compositions later in the summer, here are the live recordings of the ‘jam’ sessions.
Do feel free to share and if you’d like to hear us perform live again, then do let us know.
You’re invited to a special evening dedicated to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, as read by horror icon Vincent Price on Saturday 21 May 2016 in central London.
First up will be Poe, Price and The Core, a live Poe-gressive rock and electronica musical performance showcasing the velvet voice of Vincent Price as inspired by the Master of Menace’s best-known 1960s Gothic chillers. This will be followed by a screening of the rarely-seen 1970 TV special An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe in which Vincent Price does Poe unplugged in four tales of terror: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado and The Pit and the Pendulum. Plus, some very special surprises!
This will be held upstairs at The King & Queen public house in the heart of London’s up-and-coming Fitzrovia.
Doors open 6.45pm, show starts 7.30pm, film screens at 8.30pm
This is a free event, but registration is required.