In his earlier Edgar Allan Poe films, Roger Corman took short stories by the great Gothic master and expanded them into full-length features. Here, by contrast, the stories stay short, the only other thing they have in common being the participation of Vincent Price.
In 'Morella', Price plays a tormented man forced to confront a dark family secret when his long-estranged daughter tracks him down. In 'The Black Cat', he's the rakish lover of the wife of Peter Lorre, who naturally plots a deadly revenge. And in the title role of 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar', he tries to relieve chronic pain by asking Basil Rathbone to hypnotise him, something that leaves poor Valdemar hovering on the border between the dead and the living.
Corman's previous Poe films were played completely straight, and parts of Tales of Terror are as authentically creepy as any of them. But he also stirred comedy into the Poe brew for the first time, particularly in the scenes between Price and Lorre.