Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Edgar Allan Poe’s seminal 1841 detective story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a locked room mystery in which hobbyist detective C. August Dupin realises that an enraged orangutan jumped into an open window and, in a frenzy, slaughtered the women it found there. The first sound feature to adapt a Poe work, 1932’s […]

The last of the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations Roger Corman directed for American International Pictures – though by no means the last one that AIP cranked out – The Tomb of Ligeia is the most polished and classy film of the entire cycle, and it is not uncommon to find people arguing, on those grounds, […]

The seventh of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptations for AIP, The Masque of the Red Death, opened four years and two days after the first, House of Usher, and that is a whole lot of Poe in not very much time no matter how you slice it (and let us pause to observe that […]

“The Haunted Palace” is a great little poem, one of Edgar Allan Poe’s all-time best pieces of verse. Emphasis on little. It’s all of six stanzas long, a total of 48 lines, and its single function is to describe the atmosphere clinging to a palace in a luxuriant valley that was once, generations ago, a […]

It’s a parlor game for 19th Century literature freaks and nothing but to speculate on such questions, but let us take a moment to muse upon the most famous short story written by Edgar Allan Poe – that is, name the first Poe story that comes to mind. Ask a dozen people, and I suspect […]

As I mentioned, the third of the AIP/Roger Corman Poe movies, Premature Burial, was something of a failure – not a flop, for it’s hard for a movie produced as cheaply as even the costliest AIP picture to “flop” – and for the fourth movie in the cycle, the second released in 1962, a course-correction […]

Premature Burial, the third of the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations directed by Roger Corman and released by AIP, is by common consent regarded as being the ugly stepchild of the franchise. There’s one tremendously obvious reason for this: it’s the only one of the Corman Poe pictures not starring the stalwart Vincent Price, replacing him […]

For their very next Edgar Allan Poe adaptation after the surprise hit House of Usher, Roger Corman and American International Pictures went all the way around to the other side – one of the reasons that “The Fall of the House of Usher” makes so much sense as a movie story (and the reason why […]

Prior to 1960, American Interntational Pictures – the legendary & notorious AIP -was known almost exclusively as the purveyor of quick, cheap cash-ins, movies that sought to grab the largest possible audience at the smallest possible expense, courtesy of lurid titles, even more lurid posters, and stories that rather more often than not could be […]