Vincent Price in Six Gothic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe review

The price is definitely right where this limited edition boxset is concerned...

Between 1959 and 1964, B-movie purveyor Roger Corman directed a cycle of eight critically-acclaimed films based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Seven of these starred Vincent Price, six of which are collected in this limited edition Blu-ray boxset – sadly, Arrow was unable to licence The Masque of the Red Death from StudioCanal.

Both The Fall of the House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum have been released on BD before, but anthology outing Tales of Terror, horror-comedy The Raven, the misappropriated The Haunted Palace (actually an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, albeit book-ended by Poe's poem) and the Hitchcockian The Tomb of Ligeia all make their hi-def debut here. This adds up to a superb set of '60s horror cinema that no fan of the genre should ignore.

Picture: The AVC 2.35:1 1080p encodes of The Fall of the House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum will be familiar to anyone who picked up the distributor's original standalone releases, as these are exactly the same discs.

As such, the real interest here lies with the subsequent quartet of titles (all also given AVC 2.35:1 1080p encodes) and once again the most significant problems (some softness and a slight roughness to the image) clearly stem from the source material rather than the encodes. Colour reproduction is rich and vibrant across the board, while detailing is constantly above average, outside of some understandably fuzzy opticals.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Don't expect any whizz-bang trickery here. Instead, Arrow has decided to stick with lossless DTS-HD MA presentations of the original mono soundtracks. While this obviously makes for a somewhat sedate experience, the Blu-ray tracks handle all of the dialogue, Foley effects and music very well, with no trace of hiss or distortion.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: Arrow continues to impress with its treatment of classic cinema on BD, digging up a treasure trove of goodies for fans of Vincent Price, Roger Corman and Edgar Allan Poe alike.

All bar The Fall of the House of Usher offer an Isolated Music & Effects track (DTS-HD MA 1.0), while that film, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tomb of Ligeia also muster a selection of very informative audio commentaries.

The six discs also host a wide array of new and archival featurettes and documentaries covering subjects as diverse as the careers of Roger Corman and Peter Lorre, the history of film adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, and even the role cats have played in horror films over the decades.

Trailers, interviews and other archival treats can also be found in abundance across the set.

In place of the usual booklets for each disc, the set includes a handsome 200-page hardback tome packed with essays about each of the films, plus extremely welcome reprints of the '60s Dell Comics adaptations of Tales of Terror, The Raven and The Tomb of Ligeia.
Extras rating: 5/5

We say: The ultimate Blu-ray love letter to Roger Corman, Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe

Vincent Price in Six Gothic Tales, Arrow Video, Region B BD, £70 Approx