Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi star in this macabre horror classic inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Dr. Richard Vollin (Lugosi) is a brilliant but unstable surgeon with a morbid obsession for instruments of torture. He saves the life of Jean Thatcher (Irene Ware) a beautiful young socialite injured in an automobile accident and becomes increasingly attracted to her. But the girl is frightened by his advances and complains to her father Judge Thatcher (Samuel S. Hinds) who tells Vollin to leave the girl alone. When escaped killer Edmund Bateman (Karloff)... approaches the surgeon for a new face Vollin agrees only after convincing Bateman to assist him in his sinister plan of revenge. The doctor ultimately becomes the victim of his own wicked schemes when Bateman realizes Vollin has no intention of remaking his disfigured countenance in this elaborately produced shocker. [show more]
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Brilliant but torture-obsessed surgeon Doctor Richard Vollin (Bela Lugosi) becomes obsessed with beautiful socialite Jean Thatcher (Irene Ware) after rescuing her from a car crash. When Jean rejects his advances, Vollin vows revenge, and enlists the help of escaped killer Edmund Bateman (Boris Karloff) in kidnapping Jean's father. In return Vollin promises to give Bateman a new face, but his own duplicitous schemes lead to his ultimate downfall.
Not only does this atmospheric AIP horror-comedy feature Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre, but it also stars a young Jack Nicholson. Add a funny script by Richard Matheson and deft direction by Roger Corman and this is unbeatable fun, a perfect Halloween film for the whole family. Price stars as Craven, a sensitive, nonpracticing 16th-century wizard who begins the movie alone in his castle, lamenting for the lost Lenore, via the famed Edgar Allan Poe poem. Naturally, he's soon visited by a raven, which in this case turns out to be a wine-swilling, obnoxious fellow magician, Bedlo (Lorre), who's been enchanted by the evil sorcerer down the road, Dr. Scarabus (Karloff). When it's revealed that Craven's presumed-dead wife, Lenore (Hazel Court), was seen at Scarabus's castle, Craven heads over to investigate, along with Bedlo, Bedlo's son (Nicholson), and Craven's attractive daughter, Estelle (Olive Sturges). Once they arrive at Scarabus's gloomy, cobweb-covered abode, a wild night of horror and hilarity ensues, highlighted by a climactic wizard's duel between Scarabus and Craven, replete with colourful special effects and great comic timing. Hardly a gloomy tale of woe as the title might suggest, THE RAVEN is a hoot, with the chemistry of the leads providing maximum alchemical yield.