The Comedy Of Terrors/ The Raven

The Comedy Of Terrors/ The Raven (1963)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone
Extras: Featurettes, Promo Reel, Trailers

In their ’Midnite Movies’ series, MGM Home Entertianment has just released another great double-feature, containing two of the great Roger Corman films of the 60s. Almost a homage to Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre, the two films included on this disc, are both horror comedies that will have you cackle and laugh in utter enjoyment, while the stylish and atmospheric production will once again run light shivers down your spine.

Whether it is Price’s demented performance as Waldo Trumbull, the greedy, seedy undertaker with a knack for re-using the same casket over and over again, or Boris Karloff’s sinister showing as Scarabus in ’The Raven,’ these films are pure over-achievers, serving up a great portion of atmospheric gothic horror, and some of the most deliciously funny lines in 60s cinema.

Both films are presented in their 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratios on this release in transfers that are enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The transfers are generally clean, though signs of age are clearly evident. Especially ’The Raven’ shows some signs of discoloration and also exhibits some registration problems that cause the image to jitter frequently. At the same time however, both transfers are so full of detail that even after seeing these films for the umpteenth time I was able to detect details I had never seen before – though it also makes the matte paintings stand out so much more.

I love all of Corman’s 60s horror films with Vincent Price, and these two are no exception. Price amazes with performances that are as fascinating as they are seemingly casual. But ultimately it is the trio of Hollywood greats that make these films so memorable. There can be no question that this is a must-own for all fans of witty horror comedies and of the film of Price, Karloff or Lorre. Heck, I think for $14.95, everyone should own a copy, really.