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The Fall of the Louse of Usher: A Gothic Tale for the 21st Century (2002)

Rock star Roddy Usher's wife is murdered and Rod is sent to a lunatic asylum in this gothic-comedy-horror-musical.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Johnston ... Roderick Usher / Gory the Gorilla
... Madeline Usher / Masked Mary / Mummy / Dr. Wells (as Elize Russell)
Marie Findley ... Nurse ABC Smith / Dream Woman
... Dr. Calahari
Lesley Nunnerley ... Berenice (as Lesley Nunnerly)
Emma Millions ... Annabelle Lee
Pete Mastin ... Ernest Valdemar (as Peter Mastin)
Sandra Scott ... Beulah Von Birmingham
Barry Lowe ... Dr. Glynn / Gory the Gorilla
Alex Russell ... Igor / Gory the Gorilla
Roger Wilkes ... Gory the Gorilla
Claire Cannaway ... Young Lenore Usher
Sam Kitcher ... Young Allan Usher
Suki Uruma ... Screw
Mediaeval Baebes ... Unholy Revellers (as Medieval Babes)


When rock star Roddy Usher's wife is murdered, he's sent to the county lunatic asylum, where the therapy is far more insane than the inmates. An amalgam of several Edgar Allan Poe stories, and a mixture of comedy, horror and musical genres. Written by theo

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Release Date:

3 February 2002 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Shot on camcorder in director Ken Russell's garage/studio, with a cast made up of friends and neighbors. See more »


Version of The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) See more »


Music by James Johnston
Words by Lisi Tribble (as Elize Tribble)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Fall of the House of Russell
3 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

I haven't seen the film ‘Dogboys' - the last movie Ken Russell made for television - however as it has both a reasonably encouraging review and cast, I am astonished that only four years later the director of a number of classic movies could produce a ‘film' whose technical ineptitude is only superseded by the range of third rate pantomime performances by the cast and pocket money production values. Let me make this clear as quickly as possible; this isn't a bad movie that deserves to become a cult classic because of any amusing camp attributes, this a home movie shot by some friends over a weekend that shouldn't have been shown to the general public. Anyone who watches this film will have their memories of Russell's good films forever tarnished.

Watching the film at the first London Sci-fi film festival I got increasingly depressed as the film progressed. I would be lying if I said the film didn't have any redeeming qualities as the lead actor was relatively competent (although perhaps in a half decent film he wouldn't shine as brightly) and the music and songs were reasonably catchy. However a film is the sum of its parts and as every other aspect of this production is best described as scraping the floor below the bottom of the barrel it seems supercilious of me to compliment any of the elements that went into its creation. I imagine a great many people who own a camcorder make stupid films with zero production values designed solely to amuse their family and friends. I also imagine that if any of these films were shown theatrically everyone involved in their production would be incredibly embarrassed if not actually humiliated by having an aspect of their private lives shown to the general public. I respect the Ken Russell who made films between 1956 and 1998. Based on a viewing of this film a member of the audience would assume it was one of those home videos I previously mentioned. On learning that it was made by a director who was once lauded for his style and imagination, one could only imagine he was inebriated throughout the entire production process. I cannot stress how much a disservice the release of this film does to Mr. Russell himself. If this was made purely for the entertainment of his family and friends I can only assume that this cinematic presentation was due to the efforts of a circle of sycophantic hangers-on who are only interested in furthering their own careers or have a malevolent desire to cause the director harm. This is why I feel wary of even praising the lead actor because by staying with the production after having seen the first day's rushes he cannot have any respect for his director if he even had an inkling that the film would be shown to anyone outside Mr. Russell's circle of friends. On leaving the festival myself and a couple of friends were asked to comment on the film. After a long diatribe from each of us, my friend inadvertently called the event ‘a convention' and was dressed down by the woman interviewing us. Ironically a Science Fiction convention is the only venue this kind of lamentable self-indulgent zero-budget film making is shown. It is usually made by self confessed fans and amateurs who know it is only being made as a joke and will only be seen by like-minded individuals. At the risk of being repetitive: please don't take this review as any sort of criteria for seeing the film, doing so will only damage your memory of Ken Russell's career and will be a waste of your time. There is a great pantheon of trashy low budget film making which will entertain you and even a large selection of bad Edgar Allan Poe adaptations made in recent years. If you do have so much time on your hands that you can spend it watching irredeemably bad movies watch one of those instead.

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