Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Premature Burial, The

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Premature Burial, The



    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: May 12th, 2015.
    Director: Roger Corman
    Cast: Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney, Alan Napier, Dick Miller
    Year: 1962
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Directed by Roger Corman originally as an independent co-production with Pathe (after a dispute with AIP over the profits of his last Poe adaptation left him irritated), The Premature Burial has the distinction of being the only film in Corman's Poe run not to star Vincent Price. As he was under contract with AIP at the time, Corman opted to use Ray Milland as his leading man this time around.

    Based on the short story of the same name, the film introduces us to Guy Carrell (Milland), a middle aged man plagued a paranoiac's nightmare of being buried alive ever since he 'heard' his father struggling for free himself from his own coffin years back. Of course, no one really seems to pay Guy's fear much mind, not his sister Kate (Heather Angel) or his doctor friends Miles Archer (Richard Ney) and Dr. Gideon Gault (Alan Napier). You'd think his beautiful young wife, Emily (Hazel Court), would be able to keep his mind off of things but no, Guy is obsessed and lives in a constant fear of catalepsy.

    As the story unfolds, we see Guy build himself a special coffin, one in which its occupant can easily escape by simply pulling a chain located within arm's reach inside. That doesn't stop him from having a horribly vivid nightmare, however, and soon enough those around him start to wonder just how sane he really is. As his marriage becomes stressed by this Miles encourages him to overcome his fear the only we he can - check out his dad's tomb, conveniently located in the basement of the Carrell family estate that Guy calls home, and look at the corpse for evidence… but of course, this won't go as planned, not for anyone involved, least of all a pair of grave robbers (Dick Miller and John Dierkes).

    This one takes a little while to get going, in fact the first half is a bit on the dry side as it plays out more like a marginally stuffy period drama than anything else but stick with it - once The Premature Burial establishes its characters it pays off in a pretty big way in its final thirty minutes. Pacing issues aside the film builds well and develops a nice sense of impending dread as we, along with pretty much every one of the supporting players, question how far gone Guy might really be. Of course, maybe he's not that far gone at all, maybe he's on to something… there's that option as well. The story works in some interesting dramatic bits here and there - the cattiness that exists between Emily and Kate being a prime example, as are the scenes where the cracks start to show in the marriage Guy and Emily share.

    But this is a horror movie, and horror fans come to a horror movie wanting one thing above all else - a good scare. Once we pass the half way mark, the movie delivers. The dream sequence, in which we see Guy doing everything that he can to get out of his escapable coffin, is trippy and chilling complete with a rat and a goblet of maggots but it doesn't end there. The last twenty-minutes of the film pull the rug out from under us and deliver a solid slice of gothic horror with plenty of morbid overtones.

    While the film follows some of the same formulas that Corman and company laid down in the earlier Poe adaptations, this still has enough of its own thing going on to make it work. Granted, a fair bit of that comes from Milland who plays the part in a completely different style than Price probably would have but that's not a bad thing. The rest of the cast do fine work here too. Hazel Court looks great while Alan Napier is fun to watch as the elder doctor. Dick Miller and John Dierkes are a kick to watch as the grave robbers too.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The Premature Burial arrives on Blu-ray in its original 2.35.1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. While judging by the small nicks and scratches evident throughout it's obvious that no major restoration has been done here, the movie looks pretty solid in HD. Colors are a tiny bit flat but look quite good during the movie's infamous dream sequence while skin tones are nice and natural. Black levels are good, as is shadow detail, while the natural looking amount of film grain points to the absence of noise reduction here. A bit more cleanup work might have been nice but as it stands, this is a pretty decent looking picture. Detail definitely softens up during the film's many foggy exterior shots but that's just the way that the movie has always looked.

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track, there are no alternate language options, closed captions or subtitles of any kind provided. The audio here is pretty decent. You'll have no trouble following the dialogue and the levels are well balanced, though when Court screams towards the end of the movie you might find yourself reaching for the remote. That woman had a set of lungs on her! Hiss and distortion are non-issues and as far as older Mono tracks go, this one sounds just fine.

    Extras start off with a ten minute piece called Joe Dante On The Premature Burial in which the filmmaker and film fan talks for a bit about the history of the picture before then talking about what it was like seeing the Poe movies theatrically as a kid (and how some kids based book reports for school off of them!) and what sets this picture apart from the Poe films that Corman made with Price.

    Corman himself shows up for an interview carried over from the previous DVD release. Running just short of ten minutes here he speaks about how he left AIP to make this film independently with Pathe only to have AIP buy Pathe before the production proper started. He also talks about why Price wasn't in this film, what it was like working with Milland and Court, how and why the visuals turned out the way that they did and a fair bit more.

    Outside of that we get a Trailers From Hell spot where Corman reiterates a lot of what he discloses in the interview as the trailer plays out underneath, and then the original theatrical trailer for the picture as well. Static menus and chapter selection are also provided.

    The Final Word:

    The Premature Burial gets dismissed more often than it should because it doesn't have Vincent Price in it but Ray Milland does a fine job in the lead here and the supporting players are just as good. Kino's Blu-ray looks and sounds good and offers a nice upgrade over the previous DVD release.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • The Return Of Captain Invincible (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Severin Films
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Philippe Mora
      Cast: Alan Arkin, Christopher Lee, Kate Fitzpatrick, Bill Hunter, Michael Pate
      Year: 1983
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Return Of Captain Invincible – Movie Review:

      A black and white prologue lets us know what a big deal the Superman-esque super hero named Captain Invincible (Alan Arkin) was back in the thirties and forties. We see news reels showing off
      ...
      06-29-2022, 05:57 PM
    • The Necro Files (Visual Vengeance) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Visual Vengeance
      Released on: July 19th, 2022.
      Director: Matt Jaissle
      Cast: Steve Sheppard, Gary Browning, Christian Curmudgeon, Jason McGee
      Year: 1997
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Necro Files – Movie Review:

      When Matt Jaissle’s 1997 epic, The Necro Files, opens, a couple of cops - Detective Martin Manners (Steve Sheppard) and Detective Orville Sloane (Gary Browning) – are trying to stop a vicious rapist/serial killer
      ...
      06-29-2022, 02:35 PM
    • Horror High / Stanley (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: May 27th, 2022.
      Director: Larry N. Stouffer/ William Grefé
      Cast: Pat Cardi, Austin Stoker, Rosie Holotik, Chris Robinson, Alex Rocco, Steve Alaimo, Susan Carroll
      Year: 1973/1972
      Purchase From Amazon

      Horror High / Stanley – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome’s Drive-In Collection makes a long overdue return with this special edition double feature Blu-ray release of Crown International regional
      ...
      06-27-2022, 05:05 PM
    • Red Lips (Saturn’s Core) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Saturn’s Core
      Released on: June 28th, 2022.
      Director: Donald Farmer
      Cast: Ghetty Chasun, Michelle Bauer, Danny Fendley, Mandy Leigh
      Year: 1995
      Purchase From Amazon

      Red Lips – Movie Review:

      Somewhere, two 90s Goth gals are making out. They get baked and make out some more, it's pretty graphic but not quite hardcore. The Gothiest of the two, wearing a choker, then bites the other, her victim’s blood turning her lips
      ...
      06-27-2022, 04:46 PM
    • Escape The Field (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Lionsgate
      Released on: June 21st, 2022.
      Director: Emerson Moore
      Cast: Shane West, Theo Rossie, Jordan Claire Robbins, Tahirah Sharif, Elan Juatco
      Year: 2022
      Purchase From Amazon

      Escape The Field – Movie Review:

      Directed by Emerson Moore, who co-wrote with Sean Wathen and Joshua Dobkin, 2022's Escape The Field not surprisingly takes place... in a field. A corn field, to be specific. Here a woman named Sam (Jordan Claire
      ...
      06-22-2022, 05:26 PM
    • The Brain From Planet Arous (The Film Detective) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: The Film Detective
      Released on: June 21st, 2022.
      Director: Nathan Juran
      Cast: John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Thomas Browne Henry, Robert Fuller
      Year: 1957
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Brain From Planet Arous – Movie Review:

      Directed by Nathan Juran and released in 1957, The Brain From Planet Arous tells us what happens when a giant floating brain from outer space decides it wants to take over our planet. After it initially
      ...
      06-20-2022, 02:11 PM
    Working...
    X