In a 2007 interview for Penny Blood Magazine, Curtis Harrington said he never considered himself an actor but he cast himself in the film because he'd been told he bore a resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe. See more »
Short and flat...very little mood to keep you interested.
A rather flat - and short - version of Poe's classic story. I was looking forward to an updating by Harrington of a classic Poe story (staples of 60s "art"-exploitation cinema (thanks, Roger Corman), but Harrington isn't up for the task. He throws together the sketchiest of sets to tell the story of some guy named Usher who lives in a big house, with a sister who is going crazy.
But at under-an-hour running time, it still seems drawn out. There is none of the creepiness of the Corman bright and garish version (let alone the surreal visuals of the Jean Epstein silent version) here to keep you interested in a story you know pretty well already.
Harrington has stripped down the elements to make this closer to a home movie - man visits old mansion and odd (crazy?) master of the house to retrieve his fiancé. But without style, is Poe as compelling? Is this horror story interesting without the baroque or Gothic trimmings (or the overacting of a Vincent Price)?
Someone notes this is intended to be the first half of an anthology film. Maybe, but I don't see it. My guess is this was shot and when it was cut together it turned out to be a mere 50 minutes, and therefore was relegated to the festival circuit. This is what happens when you don't plan ahead enough.
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