The Haunted Palace (1963 film)

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Promotional poster for The Haunted Palace (1963 film)...

The Haunted Palace (1963 film) AKA Edgar Allan Poe's The Haunted Palace

Summary

Although marketed as "Edgar Allan Poe's The Haunted Palace", the film actually loosely derives its plot from Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (fiction) and other stories. Condemned warlock Joseph Curwen curses a New England village just before being burned alive. More than a century later, Curwen's kindly great-great grandson Charles Ward arrives in town and moves into Curwen's old mansion. Caretaker Simon Orne helps Charles and his wife Ann adjust to their new home. The ancient curse, however, takes hold of Joseph, awakening inside him a long-dormant evil passed on through blood.

Details


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: equivalent to a PG (mild Violence and Adult Content)

Probably suitable for older kids, with mild violence and creepiness, with a little of Roger Corman's trademark sleaze centering on the added love interest.


Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SSSs_ (Three and a Half Tentacles: Lovecraftian)

The plot of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (fiction) is mostly recognizable in this "Poe" adaptation, with Lovecraftian elements from that and other stories sprinkled liberally throughout (there's a bit of the breeding-with-Yog-Sothoth plot from Dunwich Horror in there, a little bit of a thinly-veiled mutant Dunwich from Colour Out of Space and/or miscegenate Innsmouth from Shadow Over Innsmouth, etc.) The usual suspects have been added to further pad the plot and add drama (a sleazy romantic subplot, an update to a different era or location, a house burning down at the end, etc.)

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • BadMovieMarathon "Summer of Lovecraft", (link) - "It’s a perfectly adequate gothic horror, but while the basic plot is Lovecraft the atmosphere is pure Poe; or Corman’s Poe at least, and combining these two unique writers results in something strangely generic."


Synopsis

Although marketed as "Edgar Allan Poe's The Haunted Palace", the film actually loosely derives its plot from Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (fiction) and other stories. Condemned warlock Joseph Curwen curses a New England village just before being burned alive. More than a century later, Curwen's kindly great-great grandson Charles Ward arrives in town and moves into Curwen's old mansion. Caretaker Simon Orne helps Charles and his wife Ann adjust to their new home. The ancient curse, however, takes hold of Joseph, awakening inside him a long-dormant evil passed on through blood.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • Roger Corman had directed a string of very successful Poe adaptations, but wanted to try something a little different in adapting a Lovecraft story instead. At the time, Lovecraft was virtually unheard of (this would be one of the first Lovecraft films ever made), and the studio decided this would be too risky, obliterated any explicit credit given to Lovecraft, and marketed the film as another Poe film instead.


Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes