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The Comedy of Terrors/The Raven [DVD]

Release Date:08/26/2003
A pair of witty horror films penned by noted fantasy author Richard Matheson have been paired up for this special DVD release. Both The Comedy of Terrors and The Raven have been transferred to disc in letterboxed format at the widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which have also been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The audio for both pictures has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English, with optional subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. Bonus features on this disc include profiles of Matheson and his contribution to these films, a look at Roger Corman's funny side as expressed in The Raven, an audio-only track of a promotional record used to pitch The Raven, and theatrical trailers for the two features.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

    Special Features

    • Side A: "Richard Matheson Storyteller: Comedy of Terrors" featurette, original theatrical trailer,English mono, English, French, and Spanish language subtitles
    • Side B: "Richard Matheson storyteller: The Raven" featurette, "Corman's Comedy of Poe" featurette, promotional record, original theatrical trailer, English mono, English, French, and Spanish language subtitles
    • Closed Captioned


    The Comedy of Terrors
    On the verge of bankruptcy, undertaker Vincent Price hits upon a novel method of drumming up business. Together with his cringing assistant Peter Lorre, Price sneaks into the homes of wealthy old men under cover of night and smothers the sleeping occupants to death--then collects a hefty commission when the victims' relatives come calling. At home, Price is continually frustrated in his efforts to poison his senile father-in-law Boris Karloff, who owns the undertaking business. Meanwhile, Price's neglected wife Joyce Jameson takes quite a shine to the shy Lorre. The homicidal undertaker's best-laid schemes go terribly awry when his latest "customer," wealthy Basil Rathbone, doggedly refuses to stay dead. Joe E. Brown has a cameo as a cockney graveyard attendant. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Raven
    Although Roger Corman narrowly managed to avoid self-mockery in his pulpy, flamboyant adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe tales, it appears that the director chose this opportunity to let loose with outright parody; the result is a wonderfully entertaining romp with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The first screen teaming of legendary horror stars Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre -- later billed as "The Triumvirate of Terror" -- this so-called "adaptation" uses Poe's most famous poem as a springboard for Grand Guignol comedy from scriptwriter Richard Matheson. Melancholy magician Erasmus Craven (Price), having recently relinquished his membership in the Brotherhood of Sorcerers after the apparent death of his wife Lenore (Hazel Court), is paid a visit by a foul-mouthed talking raven, claiming to be small-time wizard Adolphus Bedlo (Lorre). After some persuasion, Craven returns Bedlo to human form, reversing a spell placed by the evil Dr. Scarabus (Karloff), Craven's chief rival. After learning that a woman bearing a strong likeness to Lenore was seen in the Doctor's company, Craven accompanies Bedlo to Scarabus' castle, where the resulting battle of wills escalates into all-out magical warfare between the two embittered sorcerers. Corman and company relished the opportunity to poke fun at the staid Poe series, and the distinguished leads contribute to the spirit of fun by lampooning their own cinematic reputations. Fans of Jack Nicholson (who cut his acting teeth on this and other AIP productions) should enjoy his melodramatic performance here as Bedlo's straight-arrow son; Nicholson would later co-star with Karloff in Corman's The Terror, which was shot in two days using the same sets! ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Vincent Price
      Vincent Price - Waldo Trumbull
    • Peter Lorre
      Peter Lorre - Felix Gillie
    • Boris Karloff
      Boris Karloff - Amos Hinchley
    • Basil Rathbone
      Basil Rathbone - John F. Black
    • Joyce Jameson
      Joyce Jameson - Amaryllis Trumbull

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.