TV Cream

Films: R is for...

Raven, The

Delightful load of complete bollocks not so much based on the hoary old Poe poem as crapped onto it from a great height, and all the better for it. Beginning with Vincent Price tracing a bird in mid-air (why we know not and care less), it escalates into a comedy of wizardly daftness with Peter Lorre enlisting Vince into a fight with evil sorcerer Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson acting as badly as anyone has ever done as Lorre’s son, a sprinkling of top gags (Karloff’s ‘Hmm, not quite ready yet’ is great), Lorre turning into birds and raspberry jam, and a fantastic spelling duel finale. A textbook example of the ‘everyone obviously having the time of their lives on set’ film, and fortunately one where the viewer isn’t left there feeling left out of the merriment through sheer buggering boredom.

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