Tales of Terror

Synopsis: Three stories adapted from the work of Edgar Allen Poe. A man and his daughter are reunited, but the blame for the death of his wife hangs over them, unresolved. A derelict challenges the local wine-tasting champion to a competition, but finds the man's attention to his wife worthy of more dramatic action. A man dying and in great pain agrees to be hypnotized at the moment of death, with unexpected consequences.
Director(s): Roger Corman
Production: American International Picture
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
89 min

This is the beat of a human heart.

Sit very still and listen.

Is your heart beating in this same rhythm?

You are experiencing

the heartbeat of a dying man.

And it is with death and dying

that we concern ourselves.

What happens at the point of death.

What happens afterwards.

What happens after death

to someone who does not

choose to... stay dead?

Someone like... Morella.


Ma'am... I have to get back to Boston.

Yes. Leave the trunk here, then. I'll have

one of my father's servants carry it in.

Yes, ma'am.


Is anyone there?


Who are you?


- What?

- It's Lenora, Father.

You... are my father?


What do you want here?




Are you all alone here?

I was... until you came.

- Father, l came to see you.

- Now you've seen me. Are you content?

That's all? That's all you have to say

to me after 26 years of separation?

- Father, I came all the way from...

- I know.

I know you don't love me, father,

that you put me from your life,

except for 21 years of

board and tuition money.

But I had hoped that we'd enjoy one brief

visit together before I left your life entirely.

I have no way of getting back to Boston

at the moment. May I stay?

Do as you wish.

Morella, my beloved wife,

your murderer has returned.

Get away from her.

Father, has she been lying here

all these years?

Do you hear me?

- Why did you come here?

- Don't touch me!

I'm not a helpless baby this time.

I'll go when l... when I choose.

When I...

Oh, my God! My God!

Why did I come here? Why?

- Try to understand.

- Oh, I understand.

No. You understand nothing.

You understand nothing!

When she died, I died with her.

All that remained of me was this...

this walking corpse,

this shell, this ghost of flesh.

She was my life.

And... I killed her.

- That's it, isn't it?

- Yes!

Oh, no.

No. She thought you did.

She said so on her deathbed.

She was so young.

So alive.

To die just a few months after giving birth

to you - she couldn't accept it.

I hated you.

Oh, dear God, how I hated you!

I wanted to kill you.

I went into your nursery

and I took you out of your cradle

and I almost hurled you

out of the window!

I wish you had.


You're ill.

I have a few months left to live.

We're both dead now, Father.

I'm sorry.

In my 26th year, my father

is finally concerned about me.

Did you ever stop to wonder

just once in all those 26 years

"Where is my daughter?

What is she doing? Is she happy?"


Why should you wonder that?

After all, I'm only your child.

- I'll be leaving very soon.

- Lenora.

- No! No!

- Forgive me. Forgive me.

- No. No.

- Forgive me.

How long have you been alone?

I don't know, Lenora.

Go on, please. What happened then?

There's not much more to add.

It came as no surprise to me

that my marriage ended in failure.

I'd failed before in my relationships

with men, many times.

Many times.

I... cannot give, you see.


How did she die, Father?

How did she die?

There was this party, and...

I knew that she was too weak

to withstand the strain of it.

Yet she insisted.

She had to have this party.

She had to dress up in her finest gown

and dance and sing.

Less than an hour

after the party had begun,

she collapsed.

I picked her up in my arms

and I carried her up to her bedroom.

I put her on her bed.

Her face was white.

Oh, dear God, how white!

She was enraged, furious!

Even dying, she was enraged.

"It was the baby," she said.

She swore she'd avenge herself.

"lt was the baby." She kept saying it

over and over again. "It was the baby!"

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Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the movie Somewhere In Time for which Matheson wrote the screenplay, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel". He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television film of the same name that year. Seven more of his novels or short stories have been adapted as major motion pictures — The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, Steel (filmed as Real Steel), and Button, Button. Lesser movies based on his work include two from his early noir novels — Cold Sweat, based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace (Icy Breasts), based on his novel Someone is Bleeding. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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