Twice- Told Tales
Three times the Price
Release Date: 18 May 1963 | 12 | DVD Director: Sidney Salkow Cast: Vincent Price, Joyce Taylor, Sebastian Cabot, Brett Halsey, Beverly Garland, Richard Denning
Three adaptations of tales by nineteenth century American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne make up this horror anthology, which could be mistaken for one of Roger Corman’s pictures of the era, in that it stars Vincent Price and is “tightly” budgeted.
First story “Dr Heidegger’s Experiment” is probably the best. Price is the friend of the titular doctor who discovers a water supply that appears to restore youth, but of course there’s a shock in store – which provides the movie’s most memorable image. Silly but fun.
Even dafter is “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, in which Price plays a sort of twisted Alan Titchmarsh, inoculating his daughter with poison so she can never leave his garden of venomous plants. Like its predecessor, it’s shot on a couple of cramped sets, but has a modicum of twisted appeal.
Final tale “The House Of The Seven Gables” concerns a family curse that here manifests itself by frightening a lady in a spooky house. This much- compressed adaptation of Hawthorne’s novel still manages to feel a little sluggish, with the excitable soundtrack writing cheques that the script can’t cash. It’s essentially an old- fashioned scare story, and emblematic of its encompassing film. By the end of the ’ 60s these sorts of genteel, stately US horror films would be blown away by the new wave – a shame, but absolutely inevitable.
Extras: Just an image gallery. Russell Lewin
Vincent Price also starred in a 1940 film of The House Of The Seven Gables, which didn’t have a supernatural angle.
Price’s attacker had seen better days.