The Premature Burial (1962)

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The Premature Burial (1962)

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Name:The Premature Burial (1962)

Total Size: 701.48 MB

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Torrent added: 2009-08-28 04:40:16

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The Premature Burial (1962)

Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament.

Ray Milland ... Guy Carrell
Hazel Court ... Emily Gault
Richard Ney ... Miles Archer
Heather Angel ... Kate Carrell
Alan Napier ... Dr. Gideon Gault
John Dierkes ... Sweeney
Dick Miller ... Mole
Clive Halliday ... Judson
Brendan Dillon ... Minister

Director: Roger Corman


Runtime: 81 mins

Codecs: DivX 5 / MP3

The Premature Burial is certainly a lesser entry in Roger Corman's "Poe" cycle, but even a lesser entry for this great series can be considered something of a minor horror classic, and that is exactly what The Premature Burial is. It is unfortunate, however, that the winning team of Roger Corman, Edgar Allen Poe and Vincent Price had to be split up, with the great actor sitting this one out. I'm sure that Price wasn't very pleased about it either, as this is about as 'Poe' as you can get without actually being the man himself. It's well documented that Poe's favourite subject is that of being buried alive, and that is very much the central theme that runs through this movie, as our central character is obsessed with his fear of being buried alive, because of his father's catatonia, to the extent that he has built himself a tomb for him to be placed in when he finally dies. Aside from this central theme, Corman has dotted other Poe trademarks around the story, such as the theme of betrayal and even a cat trapped inside the walls of a building!

While the film lacks the great Vincent Price, his replacement, Ray Milland, doesn't do a bad job at all in the lead. Milland had already proved himself as an actor in films such as Billy Wilder's 'Lost Weekend', and he shows here why he's one of the A-cast. What he lacks, though, is Price's authority and commandment of the screen. Throughout the film, I couldn't help but wonder how the film would have been with Price in the lead instead of Milland...and while thinking that, I couldn't help but think it would have been better. My favourite aspect of this movie has got to be the stylishly foreboding atmosphere that Corman creates around his central story. The graveyard surrounding the house that the characters live in is lovingly decked out with masses of smoke, and the result, while slightly over the top, makes for a great treat for the eyes! Typically for a Corman movie, this one has it's problems in the plot department. At times, the film slows down completely and while Corman never allows it to get boring, some sequences; such as Milland's dream sequence, just go on too long. However, while this isn't as good as the likes of The Masque of the Red Death and The Fall of the House of Usher; it's still a more than worthy entry in the series and comes with high recommendations!


Milland plays an English 19th-century nobleman convinced that hereditary catalepsy will cause him to be buried alive. To escape his conuming fear of this fate, he builds a tomb equipped with numerous safety-valve escape mechanisms -- even a poison to take should all else fail. When his wife (Court) forces him to destroy it, a chain of events occurs with his burial and subsequent rescue via graverobbers (who he promptly slays). Good moments of suspense, good photography by pro Crosby, the usual poor direction of actors not being an obstacle to the film's quality. Surprise ending is a plus.

I thought Milland made a good choice given the unavailability of Price (his contract with AIP was binding only to the extent that he not make any Edgar Allen Poe movies with anyone except AIP, from what I've heard). He is an actor of a type not seen often these days -- he strongly projects his emotions, causing them to be felt by the audience, instead of simply seen. Vincent Price was also an actor of this type; their work in these "cheapie" horror films should not go unnoticed. It brings a power to these films that makes them memorable.


ntensely gloomy it may be, but an impressive example how a determined cinematic stylist can make a real virtue of a low budget. This was the third of director Roger Corman's AIP chillers based on Poe stories, and the only one not to star Vincent Price. Here, Ray Milland is the protagonist whose family history of catalepsy makes him fear burial alive.

Entirely shot on the sound stage, Corman and his regular art director Danial Haller have created a wonderfully expressionist garden of gnarled trees and shrubs wreathed with dry ice. Even the interior of Milland's mansion seems like a grave, notably in the scene where Hazel Court and Richard Bull take tea in a drawing room with wood-panelled walls, dark green wallpaper, with the dead tree pressing oppressively against the windows.

A number of other directorial touches make even this relatively minor Corman effort a winner. Court's shadow passing phantom-like over the sleeping Milland. The sudden shock moments when the sinister gravediggers Sweeny and Moe appear. And the blue-suffused dream-sequence in which Milland hallucinates the fate he fears most is quite masterfully shot, cut and scored (Ronald Stein).

A dark, dank little gem.

# Roger Corman was having a minor dispute with American International. He decided to do this "Poe" picture elsewhere. He was able to get financing from Pathe Labs (which wanted to go into distribution). When Samuel Z. Arkoff learned of this, he traveled to New York to talk with the owner of Pathe Labs. Arkoff felt that Pathe was stepping into American International's business. Pathe's was not moved until Arkoff pointed out that American International was one of Pathe Labs' largest customers and that if it was going into competition with AIP, all of AIP's lab work would be pulled. Pathe sold the production to American International before principal photography began.

# Roger Corman started this film outside of American International Pictures. Since Vincent Price had been signed to an exclusive contract with AIP, Corman chose Ray Milland for the lead role. American International would acquire the production just as principal photography began.

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