It’s certainly not the first AIP gothic horror film I’d recommend, nor the first Vincent Price film. It’s not a film about which one should get especially excited, but I certainly didn’t mind spending some time with it.
The main problem with Cry of the Banshee is that all of this should be a lot more interesting than it turns out to be. With naked witches, pagan rites, vengeful landlords, corrupt priests, witch burnings, and a ratty werewolf tearing out throats, Cry of the Banshee should be a thrilling, chilling, grotesque affair.
The world’s first manned expedition to Mars has vanished, and men in sparsely appointed offices are concerned by swirling newspaper headlines. When the rocket reappears, the world breathes a collective sigh of relief — until it’s discovered that only two of the four members of the crew are alive.
Francesca he intends to press against her will into decadent royal society, which in classic style involves lots of cavorting, eating of turkey legs, mild orgies, and devil worship
They expect the planet to be frozen and full of good Uranus stuff like lightning and frozen hells and acid and such. They discover it’s actually a scene through which Father Christmas would come barreling on his sled, tossing gifts at our flustered adventurers as he zipped by.
In fact, judging from the man’s writings alone, I’d imagine that any attempt by him to describe any normal type of human sexual congress would be one of the most excruciatingly awkward, squirm-inducing things you could possibly read.
AIP was certain that making the connection to Corman’s previous Poe films was the way to go, so at the last second, and in the final frame of the film, they had Price read a couple lines from the poem.
If the world was just and kind, then the sentence, ‘It’s a movie where Vincent Price stars as a madman who rules over an underwater society of fishmen prone to kidnapping scantily clad beautiful women,’ would indicate the existence of probably one of the greatest films ever made.
So in between the soul-searching and pondering and Yorga sneering at the mere mortals around him, you get scenes like a woman eating her own cat and plenty of vampire attacks. It’s just that ultimately you come for Robert Quarry’s performance as Yorga. Everything else is just dressing. Sweet, bloody dressing.
Premature Burial remained for a long time the ignored entry into Corman’s cycle, more or less skipped over as people hastened to get from Pit and the Pendulum on to Tales of Terror, Masque of the Red Death and The Raven, when everything was back as it should be and Vincent Price was once again stalking across the screen