Three men in an isolated lighthouse…a derelict ship swarming with rats…a desperate struggle for survival…all narrated by the late, great Vincent Price.
Decades before the Dos Equis commercials, Vincent Price was “the most interesting man in the world.” Or at least, in my world.
I think I was six or seven when I first saw him on TV. Was it his guest appearance as a sinister archaeologist on an after-school rerun of The Brady Bunch? Or maybe some Saturday afternoon when the late, lamented channel 48 in Philadelphia showed House of Wax as part of Creature Double Feature? I can’t say for sure.
All I know is that he made an impression. Having grown up in a working class family where the dial was set to pro wrestling more than PBS, I wasn’t introduced to that many examples of erudite sophistication. And while Price’s filmography is certainly rife with camp, that wasn’t clear to me as a kid. What was clear to me was that Vincent Price played educated characters. Often artistic or scholarly characters. His film personas may have given me the first examples of such people.
Edgar Allan Poe is one of the first masters of horror, and, in my opinion, “The Raven” is his masterpiece; for years, it has been captivating and haunting readers with its sense of loss, unease, and mounting dread.