Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
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The Black Cat 

The Black Cat, set in 1840 Philadelphia, has the great writer Edgar Allan Poe, struggling with alcoholism, writers block, as well as being out of ideas, short on cash, and tormented by his ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
George Graham
Ian Alexander Martin ...
Mr. Fordham
Sgt. Booker
Ryan Crocker ...


The Black Cat, set in 1840 Philadelphia, has the great writer Edgar Allan Poe, struggling with alcoholism, writers block, as well as being out of ideas, short on cash, and tormented by his wife Virginia's black cat that will either destroy his life or inspire him to write one of his most famous stories. Written by masters of horror

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Fantasy | Horror


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Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The pictures behind the opening credits are illustrations for some of Poe's most famous stories: in order, "The Premature Burial", "The Mask of the Red Death", "The Case of M. Valdemar", "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Black Cat". See more »


The tavern piano, in 1840, is riffing on Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer", which would not be written until 1862. See more »


Edgar Allan Poe: I have little sense of the world around me. Such is my genius.
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Crazy Credits

Perversity "The human thirst for self torture."
  • E.A.Poe

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Referenced in Unikal'noe pozdravlenie (2014) See more »


Beautiful Dreamer
By Stephen Foster
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User Reviews

Stuart Gordon, Jeffrey Combs, Edgar Allan Poe -- A Dream!
11 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Stuart Gordon directs Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe, who is struggling to write a new story. He becomes borderline insane (and incredibly drunk) with the death of his wife, and he begins an obsession with his black cat, Pluto, that is nothing short of sadistic.

I love Poe, Gordon and Combs... so I will freely admit this was my most anticipated episode of "Master of Horror"'s season 2. And I was not let down. I was attracted by the addition of an interesting film technique where the color was washed out to appear like an old photograph for everything except the blood... like "Sin City", except this was more sepia and less black and white.

And we have young Elyse Levesque as Virginia Poe. I have never heard of this woman before and probably never saw her in anything, but she is a great actress and a beautiful lady (beautiful in the true sense of beautiful, not in the sense of "hot"). I hope she sticks with horror for a bit so I can see more of her. She plays opposite Combs very smoothly.

The pacing of this film is a bit slower and not much happens at times, but I was okay with this, because the focus was on Combs and his slouch into madness. At times I think he stopped being Poe and started being Combs, but overall I was pretty impressed. Some may say Combs and Poe are now the same man, as he will become known for this role.

Some have complained about the animal violence. I didn't find it that offensive. After watching William Lustig's "Maniac" and Stephen King's "Sleepwalkers", both of which feature cat mutilation, I thought this was pretty tame. I can understand being against real animal torture, but if you can watch people being tortured, you can watch animals... it's just a movie.

Loved the blood, especially when Virginia gets her first tuberculosis attack at the piano. (This actually happened in real life, too, as you know if you know the life story of Poe.) This is blood as blood was always meant to look like in a film. Thick, runny and fear-inspiring. That moment was when I knew I hit the jackpot.

A special nod must be given to Lyn Kelly and the prop department. By no means am I an expert in the history of clothing or other objects, but Kelly did a fine job with the wardrobe and the prop guys were sure to make things as authentic as possible. The audio commentary points out the wine glasses and old piano, for example, but really the whole picture has an authentic feel.

I watched this film for the Gordon-Combs-Poe. You will like it, too, if you like these things. And I was pleased Gordon was back to his old ways with special effects, steering clear of the crappy "Dagon" graphics. I think last season's "Dreams in the Witch House" is the more enjoyable film, but this has a more artistic look and certainly deserves a viewing for any fans.

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