Masters of Horror: Season 2, Episode 11

The Black Cat (19 Jan. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror | Thriller
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,747 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 21 critic

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:
Aron Tager ...
Ian Alexander Martin ...
Mr. Fordham
Ken Kramer ...
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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Horror | Thriller


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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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Come Rest in This Bosom
By Thomas Moore
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User Reviews

Gordon delivers a winner
22 January 2007 | by (Perth, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Stuart Gordon has long been a genre stalwart. From Re-Animator To From Beyond to Dagon he is widely recognized as a master of H.P. Lovecraft adaptations. Strangely enough he has only done one Poe film to date 1991's unjustly forgotten Pit & The Pendulum. That film was a delirious mix of Poe's narrative with the Spanish Inquisition.

Once again, Gordon returns to Poe for his second outing on Masters Of Horror. This time out it is The Black Cat being adapted and he and screenwriter Dennis Paoli deliver a doozy. Interweaving the narrative with actual moments from Poe's life is divine as the story is written in first person. Although there has never been any written proof that Poe had a black cat, who's to say he didn't? The titular feline actually belongs to his ailing wife Virginia. After being told by an editor to skip the poetry for one of his fantastical tales (they do sell better after all), Poe struggles to write the tale and deal with his wife's declining health and his own alcoholism. What follows is a delirious step into the author's tortured mind as he weaves in and out of fiction and fact.

There's is little of Gordon's signature gore on display here, but when he does present it, it leaves a big impact. Here, the director is trying to shock the viewer with animal torture. Even these scenes are few and far between but when they do arrive they hit hard.

Jeffrey Combs is perfectly cast as Poe. He looks the part and essays the character with style.

Indeed my only real complaint is a little too much switching back and forth between reality and dream. It gets a little confusing after a while and leaves the viewer playing catch up.

The Black Cat takes its place as my new favourite episode for season 2 and its going to take a lot to dethrone it.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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