Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Watch This Again? Nevermore: "The Raven" (1963)



There is a fine line between cheesy campy horror film, and funny horror film. This falls into the former category.

The plot concerns three sorcerers who try to one up each other after they visit the gothic castle home of one. The plot soon gives way to humor that makes Adam Sandler look like Noel Coward. So many people find this stuff hilarious, but the lack of laughs makes this painful to watch. Corman did one decent film, "Frankenstein Unbound," but his penchant for no budget and little thought to scripts have resulted in films on the level of Ed Wood. No one dares speak of this, however, because Corman is revered for giving up and comers their starts and always making a dime. Anyone can make a dime off a celluloid pile that costs a nickel.

"The Raven" features Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre, and they are all terrible. The mug for the camera incessantly, and do not deliver one laugh. Jack Nicholson, young and fit, shows up in time to give no proof he would ever win Oscars. Corman's direction is standard, and Richard Matheson's screenplay seems like it was composed as the film progressed.

I would put "The Raven" on the same level as Disney's live action output of the 1970's: cheesy, cheap, and really bad. (*) out of five stars. Watch this movie now!: The Raven