Tomb of Ligeia, The (1964)

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964), directed by Roger Corman.

It's no picnic for Lady Rowena, being Vincent Price's second wife while the spirit of the first still haunts the castle. And why does he keep vanishing for hours at a time?

The last of Corman's Poe cycle, this is more of a women's gothic thriller, where the new wife has to fight dark forces for the affections of her husband. It reminds me of the Val Lewton pictures of the 1940s, where the awful truth is lurking just out of sight. In this case, that the husband, under hypnotic compulsion is ... attending to ... the corpse of his dead wife in the locked tower room.

Corman felt he had exhausted the Freudian "landscape of the mind" motifs of the earlier films, and for this last entry moves outdoors to real locations, including a great ruined abbey. Shooting in England, as for The Masque of the Red Death (1964). After this he moved into Biker films.

Elizabeth Shepherd does fine work as both Lady Rowena and Ligeia. The dialogue is better, a bit more adult than the earlier films. Credit screenwriter Robert Towne for that.

Her commentary track explains some bits I hadn't noticed before: that the Egyptian mask is also her face, and that Rowena finds Price's coat on Ligeia's bed and throws it at him.

That poor black cat sure earned its kibble for this film. It gets thrown all over the place.

Available on Blu-ray with three commentary tracks: