The Premature Burial

Within the Coffin I Lie...ALIVE!

Drama Horror Mystery
81 min     6.3     1962     USA


An artist grows distant from his new wife as an irrational horror of premature burial consumes him.


John Chard wrote:
She wheels her wheel barrow, through streets broad and narrow... The third in Roger Corman's cycle of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations sees Charles Beaumont & Ray Russell on script duties and Ray Milland star. The story follows Milland's cataleptic Guy Carrell, whose fear of being buried alive like his father drives him to build a tomb that should ensure against such a disaster occurring... Pulpy, Gothic and at times silly, The Premature Burial is still very much a nice slice of Corman pie. Some critics have bemoaned the lack of AIP mainstay Vincent Price for this one, yet that's unfair on Milland who does some neat work as he blends lunacy with sympathy to great effect. Though the plotting lacks any imagination, since it's obvious from the get go that poor Guy is going to find his nightmare become a reality, this frees up Corman to conjure up as much atmosphere as possible. Backed up by Floyd Crosby's sumptuous Eastman colour photography (in Panavision too), Corman is able to craft some genuinely macabre moments. The appearance of genre babe Hazel Court is a pleasing bonus and the set design coming from old sharp eye himself, Daniel Haller, rounds the film out as a pretty effective piece. Nice creepy use of Molly Malone too! 6.5/10
Reno wrote:
> An intense thriller from the outside, but full of suspenseful events! A very surprising mystery-thriller from the 60s that I usually won't write reviews for the old flicks, but for this one an exception. The film was based on the book of the same name that sets in the early 19th century. Since it was a short tale the film was just a 80 minutes long. It looked like the film 'Take Shelter', but while progressing its narration totally impressed me with the uniqueness in the development area. However, I did not understand the final scene after all those twists, yet it is obvious an agenda that was achieved. The cast was small and a single location concept where most of them takes place inside a building and its surroundings which were obviously settings. The story was very interesting with turns in every few minutes and incredible performances. This is not a popular film, but surely it deserves more attention for telling a quality tale. Or maybe a remake won't be a bad idea to make it more thrilling product with the availability of the present technical assistant. It is no masterpiece like Hitchcock films, but still worth watching, so I recommend it. 7/10