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The Raven
Der Rabe - Duell der Zaubermeister

USA 1963
produced by
James H. Nicholson & Samuel Z. Arkoff for AIP
directed by Roger Corman
starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Hazel Court, Jack Nicholson, Olive Sturgess
written by Richard Matheson, somehow based on the poem by Edgar Allan Poe

AIP's Poe-cycle, Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe-adaptations

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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One stormy night, magician Craven (Vincent Price) is visited by a talking raven, who when returned to human form turns out to be alcoholic magician Bedlo (Peter Lorre), & this man tells himhe was turned into a bird by magician Scarabus (Boris Karloff), who not only stole the title of leader of the Brotherhood of Magicians from Craven's deceased father but also lives with Lenor (Hazel Court), Craven's wife thoght dead. So the 2 magicians, along with Estelle (Olive Sturgess), Craven's daughter, & Rexford (Jack Nicholson), Bedlo's clumsy son, travel to Scarabus's castle., only to find that man to be a perfect & charming host. But as Bedlo soon gets roaringly drunk, he challenges Scarabus to another magic duel ... & vanishes in the process. But he is not yet dead as everyone thinks him to be but  only tried to make a quick getaway from his wife by being thought dead & furthermore now wants Scarabus to teach him some superior magic in return for having lured Craven to his castle - but Bedlo is merely turne to a raven again, while Craven, Estelle & Rexford are soon laid into bondage & incarcerated by Scarabus, who wants to learn some magic secrets from Craven. Craven though refuses, & in the end only a magic duel can decide who's sthe more powerful of the 2 magicians, a duel that grows increasingly childish before Craven wins it, & Scarabus' castle falls victim to the flames, burying Scarabus & treacherous Lenore beneath the rubble, while everyone else is leaving happily - except for Bedlo who still is a raven, of course.

 

After filming many a serious Edgar Allan Poe-adaptation, Roger Corman also proved to be the perfect man to parody his own movies, just taking all the clichés he had used one step further & having his lead Poe-player Vincent Price do a rather effeminate version of his standard character - Price was so good in fact, that he for the next decade or so got rarely offered anything else but leads in horror-comedies (with Witchfinder General being a notable exception). But unlike in most of his other Poes, Corman did rely less on the power of Price alone but came up with a great ensemble cast of which at least Karloff & Lorre do manage to balance Price out.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD