The Haunting of Morella

THE HAUNTING OF MORELLA. 1990

Director: Jim Wynorski

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



The Haunting of Morella is a period film with lesbian witches, sinister curse of witch who gets her eyes put out with a branding iron while nailed to a cross, vampiric femme fatale bath in virgin's blood, rotten corpse coming back to life, possession of innocent girl by the ghost of her evil mommy (Nicole Eggert plays both mom & daughter), nudey scenes for three count 'em three gorgeous babes, one cool hunk on a white horse, David "sidekick from U.N.C.L.E." McCallum hamming it up as a blind & morose Poe-like character, & gobs of gothic trappings.

Sounds good, huh? Well, none of it quite makes you want to put the film on pause for fear of missing something while running to the bathroom to pee, but it does have its moments.

There are enough Poe references (chiefly in names of characters) to justify the pretence that this is based on a poem by Poe. And alhough Roger Corman is the producer rather than the director, the film sort of functions as a coda to Corman's own "Poe cycle" of classic cheapy horrors, such as The Raven (1963), The Tomb of Ligea (1964), & several suchlike.

Indeed, much about the film, except the nudity & director Wynorski's humorlessness & talentlessness, seems like it comes from the 1960s Corman factory rather than from 1990. And while this reprise of the earlier Poe films is nowhere near the equal of The Raven (because Macallum though hammy is not the hammy equal of Lorre, Price & Karloff) it's nevertheless a film with some of the same merits (& demerits) as vintage Corman.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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