THE TOMB OF LIGEIA
The plot shuffles around the basic elements of the rest of the Corman Edgar Allan Poe films love from beyond the tomb, possession, the doom and gloom obsessed hubbie, the pretty innocent bride driven around the bend by such obsessions, the gloomy Gothic mansion, sinister black cats, a neurotic and cowering Vincent Price suffering from hyper-acuteness of the senses, and everything going up in flames at the end. However, the lack of much connecting logic makes it an uninspired rehash.
The English location shooting makes a welcome relief from the usual fog-laden sets of the earlier films. Indeed, this takes The Tomb of Ligeia closer to the Hammer horror films that inspired Roger Cormans Poe series in the first place. However, Corman and his cast hardly seem to be doing much more than playing a game of hide-and-seek in a set of Gothic ruins. Vincent Prices usual clipped, overwroughtly enunciated delivery is okay. A scene where Elizabeth Shepherd is hypnotized and possessed by Ligeia contains a good jolt. Yet, the film is still no good the dialogue is flowery, the pace slow, nothing much ever happens and when it does is never properly explained.
The script was from Robert Towne who started his career out working for Roger Corman, writing the script for Last Woman on Earth (1960). Robert Towne later went onto become one of Hollywoods top screenwriters with scripts for films like Chinatown (1974), Shampoo (1974), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) and the Mission: Impossible films, among others.
Other adaptations of Edgar Allan Poes Ligeia (1838) include:- an Argentinean tv production in 1959 about which little is known; Ligeia (1981), a French production with Arielle Dombasle as Ligeia; Ligeia (2002), a low-budget US made version; the modernised Ligeia (2009); and a new US-made indie version Ligeia (2012), as well as several short film versions. The Tomb of Ligeia was later spoofed in Elviras Haunted Hills (2001).
Roger Cormans other Poe films are The House of Usher/The Fall of the House of Usher (1960), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Premature Burial (1962), Tales of Terror (1962), The Raven (1963), the Poe-titled but H.P. Lovecraft adapted The Haunted Palace (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964).
Roger Cormans other genre films as director are: Day the World Ended (1955), It Conquered the World (1956), Not Of This Earth (1956), War of the Satellites (1956), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Journey to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957), The Undead (1957), Teenage Caveman (1958), A Bucket of Blood (1959), The Wasp Woman (1959), Last Woman on Earth (1960), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961), Tower of London (1962), The Terror (1963), X The Man with X-Ray Eyes (1963), The Trip (1967), Gas; or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It (1970) and Frankenstein Unbound (1990). Cormans World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) is a documentary about Cormans career.