Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Price of Poe

Roy Rogers isn’t the only luminary who’s getting a day-long tribute this month on Turner Classic Movies. This Friday, Aug. 10, Vincent Price will be remembered with a mini-retrospective that includes five – count ‘em, five! – of the stylish, small-budget Edgar Allan Poe adaptations Price famously filmed in the ‘60s with director Roger Corman: House of Usher (6:30 pm EDT), The Pit and the Pendulum (8 pm EDT), Tales of Terror (9:30 pm EDT), Masque of the Red Death (11:15 pm EDT) and the Tomb of Ligeia (1 am EDT).

Pit arguably is the spookiest of the lot, but I must confess to my preference for Masque, if only because it features the va-va-voom Hazel Court, whose heaving decolletage loomed large in my adolescent fantasies. Tales of Terror, a three-part anthology, contains an episode that's a splendidly seriocomic gem, a tongue-in-cheeky mash-up of Poe’s The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado featuring a roly-poly Peter Lorre as an alcoholic ne’er-do-well who gets medieval on a wine connoisseur (a self-parodying Price) when the latter makes moves on the ne’er-do-well’s improbably voluptuous wife (Joyce Jameson).

Also worth TiVoing: The Last Man on Earth (3:30 pm EDT), a budget-challenged version of the Richard Matheson story that recently inspired a rather more lavish sci-fi flick starring Will Smith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Interesting tidbit: Richard Matheson always thought that THEY (read: Hollywood) never got "I am Legend" correct. He thought "The Last Man on Earth" was faithful to his source material, but poorly cast (with Vincent Price whom Matheson thought "weak") and as far as "The Omega Man" was concerned, Matheson thought Chuck Heston was a "perfect" Robert Neville, the lead character in IAL, but of course, anyone who saw the movie and read the book knows that "Omega Man" strays wildly from its source material. That said, I'm anxious to see if Will Smith can pull this off; "I am Legend" is one of the great scifi/horror/fantasy novels of the last 50 years. Even Stephen King thinks so...