Tomb Of Ligeia Cover It has been known that when someone passes away, the person left behind has the need inside themselves to search for another companion. But do you know what? This doesn't always pan out you know. Yeah! I saw it in this film Directed by: Roger Corman; and Starring: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, with John Westbrook. It was made in 1964, and lasted for 81-minutes.

Tomb Of Ligeia

Quite a few years after he buries his dearly departed wife, Ligeia (Elizabeth Shepherd), the enigmatic yet aloof owner of her Abbey, Verden Fell (Vincent Price), meets another lovely lady called Rowena Trevanion (Elizabeth Again).

Admittedly. You would have thought this encounter would've been good for him at face value. Yet to Verden himself -- well -- it's pretty hard to tell if truth be told.

To start of with he seems very nurturing towards Rowena: As he tends to her wounds when she falls off of her horse. Then he seems very cold towards her: Because for some unexplained reason he drifts off into a world of his own. Finally though, he grows fond of her once more. In fact, Verden becomes so fond of Rowena, that they both get married, despite his cat trying to kill her in the bell-tower.

Oh! Wait a minute. I almost forgot to mention the cat, didn't I? Simply put, this mangy mog witnesses Verden and Rowena's courtship from afar. Constantly watching. Constantly hissing. And constantly attacking Rowena whenever Verden's not around.

Still, that's most probably why what next transpires all comes into play when a family friend, Christopher Gough (John Westbrook), starts to ask a few pertinent questions. As a wife becomes possessed - a cat becomes a pest - a resolution is very dire - and my-oh-my, how can a Roger Corman film end without any fire?

Now before I sat down and watched 'The Tomb of Ligeia', I was half expecting to see some of the things I usually get see in the other Roger Corman 'Poe' films. You know the type of thing, I'm sure. Like the very mannered acting style. The flimflam yet suspenseful story-line. Plus the high production values which lifts his movies way-way above 'b-movie' status.

And yes -- I did get a good glimpse of all of these things amidst this production, folks. But on top of that, I also got a bit of a headache too.

Tomb Of Ligeia Lobby Card
Yeah. I'm not kidding. I liked this film. Quite a lot actually. But for the life of me, there was something in it that I just didn't connect with.

Maybe it was the way that the story wasn't very apparent for the majority of the time? Or it could have been how the characters in themselves weren't that relatable, and came across like some sort of Shakespearean knock-offs?

Hey! Listen. Don't get me wrong. As I said before, this is a good film, which is very well acted and very well produced. It's just the tale I have a problem with. As it's one of those yarns that takes too long to gestate, and the characters don't really help because they appear very aloof and stoic by nature.

Tomb Of Ligeia Film Poster 

Tomb Of Ligeia DVD
I tell you what. Just to give my old noggin a rest. Let's have some filmic-facts now, shall we? (1) 'Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors' first released this production in England on the same month that the first director of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover, called Martin Luther King a 'most notorious liar' -- November, 1964. (2) Just so he could qualify for a British subsidy, the director of this flick, Roger Corman, had to relinquish his producer's credit to an English producer called Pat Green. (3) During pre-production, Roger and company were thinking about calling this thriller 'The House at the End of the World', or 'The Tomb of the Cat'. (4) All of the interiors scenes were shot at Shepperton Studios, Surrey, whilst all of the exteriors scenes were shot on location at Castle Acre Priory, Swaffham, and Stonehenge, Wiltshire. (5) Not only was this the last of Roger Corman's 'Poe' series of films, but he also publicly stated that it was his best and most exciting one out of the bunch. (6) Michael Staininger remade this movie in 2009, and re-titled it 'The Tomb'. (7) Robert Towne, who was one of the scriptwriters assigned to pen this Poe adaptation, also penned the Roman Polanski 1974 classic, 'Chinatown. (8) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'The Grave of Horror' in Germany; 'The Man in Vaxkabinettet' in Sweden; and 'The Grave with the 7 Secrets' in Greece.

Vincent Price in Tomb Of Ligeia

OK. So before I bugger off to git-land with the rest of the reviewers, I have to mention how I did love the main star of 'The Tomb of Ligeia', Vincent Price, plus his very pretty co-star, Elizabeth Shepherd.

Tomb Of Ligeia Lobby Card
Honest to God. Both of these great actors did a bang up job in this movie nigh on all the way through it. Not really over acting. Not really keeping it too visceral. But basically playing a balancing act between mannered and bold, without tripping over any of the bog standard plot snafus that came along there way.

Furthermore, I have to mention that f*cking cat too! My God! What a terrifying pain in the puss that devilish creature was! Never before in my entire life did a pussy scare me more than the one in this film. He was vicious. Terrifying. Rabid. And generally all of those things you wouldn't expect to see from a pretty normal looking domesticated cat.

Now if you want to know what I mean by this, pal, please watch 'The Tomb of Ligeia', OK? Trust me. The cat won't kill it for you, although the story-line might.

Nuff said. Meooow!!!


THE TOMB OF LIGEIA (1964) THE TOMB OF LIGEIA (1964) Reviewed by David Andrews on September 24, 2013 Rating: 5
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