Twice Told Tales (1963) was presumably an early attempt to cash in on the AIP Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe movies starring Vincent Price, particularly the multi-story Tales of Terror released in 1962. However, it wasn’t a box-office success and in watching the film now it’s fairly easy to see why. Based on three of the stories of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, Twice Told Tales is entertaining enough but a bit dull and doesn’t hold much in the way of scares or shocks.
The first tale is called Dr Heidegger’s Experiment and stars Vincent price alongside Sebastian Cabot and Mari Blanchard in a story of eternal youth, a secret affair and bloody revenge. This was my favourite of the three stories, with good performances, an engaging story and an acceptable twist in the tale.
Rappaccini’s Daughter again stars Price this time co-starring with the beautiful Joyce Taylor and handsome leading man Brett Halsey. There are elements of Romeo and Juliet in this tale of two lovers and the girl’s over-protective father but in the end it just seems to fall apart and drag on interminably. The studio-bound sets are quite attractive despite the obvious low budget but without a strong storyline it does all feel a little flat.
The final tale is House of the Seven Gables, which revolves around a family curse, a ghost and some hidden treasure. Vincent Price is the lead and stars opposite Jacqueline deWit, Floyd Simmons and Beverly Garland. This particular yarn doesn’t really hang together but tries its best by pulling together various plot elements, unfortunately coming across as more Scooby Doo than a grown-up tale of terror. I enjoyed the special effects model work involving the house but todays viewers may well find the whole thing to be cheap, dated and a bit tiresome.
Review by Richard Gladman
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