Premature Burial (1962)

The third of Roger Corman’s Poe movies, this time Corman decided that he wanted to make his own Por film outside of his deal with American-International Pictures. He got his financing through Pathé Lab, the company that did the print work for AIP.

While he wanted to use Vincent Price, he had an exclusive deal with AIP, so he hired Ray Milland.

Then, on the first day of shooting, James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff of AIP showed up, told Corman they were working together again and excited that they’d convinced Pathé to bring the movie back to them after threatening to pull all their lab work.

Guy Carrell (Milland) is a British aristocrat who suffers from catalepsy and worries that he will only appear dead and be buried alive. This nearly ruins his marriage to Emily (Hazel Court, who shows up in so many movies that I love, such as The Raven and The Masque of the Red Death) as he goes mad at the slightest mention of death and even passes out when she plays the piano. But hey — they get married anyways, even if he makes an incredibly complex coffin that he can escape from.

Let me tell you, the dream sequence where he does get buried alive? I saw it before I was ten when forced to visit the home of other children instead of getting to watch movies at home alone, as I have preferred my entire life. They went and played some game and I grabbed the TV Guide and found a horror movie. That sequence completely destroyed me and I remember walking onto their porch and staring into the sunset and wondering how the adults could be so carefree when death was stalking our every waking moment. Yeah, I was a weird kid and grew up to be even more odd.

But hey — Dick Miller shows up as a grave robber!

You can watch this on Tubi.

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