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With: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook, Derek Francis, Oliver Johnston, Richard Vernon, Frank Thornton, Ronald Adam, Denis Gilmore, Penelope Lee
Written by: Robert Towne, based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe
Directed by: Roger Corman
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 81
Date: 10/31/1964

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Taboo Cat

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The eighth and final of Roger Corman's excellent series of Edgar Allan Poe films, The Tomb of Ligeia is notable for an early screenplay by the great Robert Towne. Based on Poe's story "Ligeia," it tells the story of the mysterious, brooding Verden Fell (Vincent Price), who buries his dead wife in a church graveyard, even though she was not a believer. Fell notices a cat creeping around the gravesite and believes he sees Ligeia's eyes pop open before the grave is sealed.

Later, after a horse riding accident, Fell meets the Lady Rowena Trevanion (Elizabeth Shepherd) and they quickly marry. But Rowena notices that her new husband is not exactly attentive and seems quietly obsessed with something. A young man, Christopher Gough (John Westbrook), comes on board to give Rowena her happy ending. As with the other Poe films, Corman dedicated a little more patience to this movie, establishing a creeping, gothic mood and slowly building dread. It's one of the best of the series.

In 2021, Kino Lorber released a decent Blu-ray edition, with an excellent commentary track by Tim Lucas, another one by director Corman, and a third one by Shepherd (moderated by filmmaker Roy Frumkes). There's a "Trailers from Hell" episode, with Joe Dante, and a batch of trailers.

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