Edgar Allan Poe might turn over in his crypt at this nonsensical adaptation of his immortal poem, but audiences will find the spooky goings-on of a flock of 15th century English sorcerers a corn-pop of considerable comedic dimensions.
The screenplay is a skillful, imaginative narrative of what comes to pass when there comes a rapping at magician Vincent Price’s chamber-door by a raven – who else but Peter Lorre, a fellow magician, transformed by another sorcerer (Boris Karloff).
Roger Corman as producer-director takes this premise and develops it expertly as a horror-comedy climaxing with Price and Karloff engaging in a duel to the death in the black arts, each a master of the craft. Special effects figure prominently.
Hazel Court as Price’s sexy and conniving spouse, Olive Sturgess, his daughter, and Jack Nicholson, Lorre’s son, lend effective support.