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1964, MGM Repertory, 89 min, USA, Dir: Roger Corman

The most visually hypnotic of Roger Corman’s celebrated Edgar Allan Poe cycle, MASQUE stars the wonderful Vincent Price as Prospero, a sadistic medieval prince who holes up in his labyrinthine castle as a refuge against the terrible plague stalking the countryside. With Hazel Court, Jane Asher and Patrick Magee. Superb cinematography by future director Nicolas Roeg (DON’T LOOK NOW, WALKABOUT).

1963, MGM Repertory, 86 min, USA, Dir: Roger Corman

Director Roger Corman’s most liberal Edgar Allan Poe adaptation is a charmingly offbeat comic fantasy, with Vincent Price as a benevolent sorcerer challenged by evil magician Boris Karloff to prove who is the most powerful. Mutual friend and chicken-hearted wizard Peter Lorre, with Jack Nicholson tagging along (as Lorre’s son!), get caught in the middle of the magic duel. Both cinematographer Floyd Crosby and art director Daniel Haller help to make this eye-popping film more expensive-looking than it actually was. With Hazel Court.

1967, MGM Repertory, 85 min, USA, Dir: Roger Corman

Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern and Susan Strasberg star in this Jack Nicholson-scripted story of a burned-out TV commercials director who takes the ultimate acid trip. American International Pictures changed the ending without Corman’s approval to suggest a more anti-drug stance; still, the film captures the Sunset Strip at the height of its lurid, frenzied glory. Music by The Electric Flag.

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