It’s not so much a booklet, but at 200 pages, it is more a book in itself. Within its pages, you can find such gems as new writings on the featured films, an interview with Corman himself, extracts from Vincent Price’s autobiography, and a reproduction of the tie-in comic books for Tales of Terror, The Raven and The Tomb of Ligeia.

 

Before we continue to the films themselves, I must address the elephant in the room of how this stopped short of being a complete and definitive release. As you may have already picked up, this is not the complete collection of the Corman Poe adaptations – Premature Burial (1962) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964) are bizarrely omitted from this sumptuous collection. This does seem to be a bit of a shame, especially since The Masque of the Red Death is one of Corman’s most visually striking works in the series. The exclusion of Premature Burial could be explained in that it is the only film in the series that does not feature Vincent Price (the cover does specify Vincent Price in Six Gothic Tales).

 

So, that was what is missing. Let’s look at what is actually in the box set. In short, these are six wonderfully made films – looking as gorgeous as ever in their remastered form – weighing in at over eight hours, excluding all the extra bells and whistles.

 

Two of these films – The Fall of the House of Usher and Pit and the Pendulum - have already been given the Arrow release treatment in previous stand-alone releases. The presentation and extras are identical to those you would find on the stand-alone releases, so those of you who already own these, will find nothing new here. What the box set as a collective does offer, is a star-studded line-up of some of the most influential genre talents working in that era. In addition to Price; Barbara Steele, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr, Basil Rathbone and a young Jack Nicholson make up the remarkable cast in this bumper viewing collection.

 

The presentation of the feature films appear to be close to the original screen ratio that Corman had filmed them in, which only contributes to the glorious visual appearance of each film. In terms of audio, each disc offers an original uncompressed mono soundtrack for their respective films.

 

This limited edition box set should be considered a definite purchase for all fans of Vincent Price, Roger Corman and even Edgar Allan Poe – especially if you are a fan of all three! I will spare you the synopsis of each and every film included here – chances are that if you are one of the above, or even remotely interested in purchasing this set, you would most likely already be familiar with the premise of each featured film.

 

What will most likely appeal to the potential buyer, is the luxurious treatment of this release as a whole, the remastered presentation of each film, and all the extras that accompany each disc. If you can’t decide on whether you want to get your grubby mitts on one of only 2000 sets available, read on. Personally, I’d suggest there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at the retailer’s door.

 

 

The Fall of the House of Usher

Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman

An interview with director Joe Dante

Interview with author Jonathan Rigby

Video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns examining Corman's film in relation to Poe's story

Archival interview with Vincent Price

 

Pit and the Pendulum

Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman

Audio commentary by critic Tim Lucas

A new making of documentary featuring Roger Corman, star Barbara Steele, Victoria Price and more

Shot in 1968 to pad out the film for the longer TV time slot, this scene features star Luana Anders

Price reads a selection of Poe's classic stories before a live audience

 

Tales of Terror

An hour-long documentary on Roger Corman featuring contributions from James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard

Critic and novelist Anne Billson discusses the contributions of our feline friends to genre cinema

The Black Cat, a 1993 short film adaptation of Poe s classic tale directed by Rob Green (The Bunker)

 

THE RAVEN

Peter Lorre: The Double Face, Harun Farocki's 1984 documentary, subtitled in English for the first time

An interview with the legendary novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson

An interview with Roger Corman about making The Raven

The Trick, a short film about rival magicians by Rob Green (The Bunker)

Promotional Record

Stills and Poster Gallery

 

The Haunted Palace

Audio commentary by Vincent Price's biographer David Del Valle and Ron Chaney, grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr

Kim Newman on H.P. Lovecraft

An interview with Roger Corman

Stills and Poster Gallery

 

The Tomb of Ligeia

Audio commentary by director and producer Roger Corman

Audio commentary by star Elizabeth Shepherd

All-new interviews with cast and crew

 

 

Six Gothic Tales is available to buy on UK Blu Ray December 8th.

Review: Six Gothic Tales

By Andreas Charalambous - 6th December 2014

Limited to 2000 copies, this Six Gothic Tales Blu Ray box set oozes every bit the quality that we have come to expect from an Arrow Video release. The menacing illustrations of a black cat and a raven greet you on the cover of the plush box containing some of Roger Corman’s most celebrated works based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe – all lovingly remastered in HD and crammed with extras.  

 

From the end of the 1950s to the mid-1960s, Corman directed a series of eight feature film adaptations based on Poe’s short stories and poems, and had won critical acclaim in doing so. This luxurious, limited edition box set is made up of six of the eight films from the aforementioned series and they’ve never looked better on screen.

 

 These are; The Fall of the House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, The Raven, The Haunted Palace and The Tomb of Ligeia. The extras that accompany each film, are just as luxurious – and then there is the legendary Arrow booklet that forms part of every Arrow Video release.