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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.


Ken Russell


Ken Russell

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

30 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


Fire in the Rose
Music by James Johnston
Words by Lisi Tribble (as Elize Tribble)
See more »

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User Reviews

12 January 2007 | by amoamasamatluolueislueiSee all my reviews

Ken Russell has made some excellent films over a long career. He has also made some bad ones, but we can forgive him for that. This 'film', however, is unwatchable. I am at a loss to explain the positive comments posted on this site.

Let's be clear about what we're dealing with. This film is shot on a hand-held camcorder. The 'actors' appear to be random friends of Mr Russell. The plot is non-existent. Everything about this film is horribly, horribly wrong, from Russell's own heart-breakingly awful acting to the shoddily arranged orgy of inflatable dolls and dinosaurs. Post-modern? Now come on, that's no excuse. Not for THIS. Ironic? Post-ironic perhaps...? let's hope so.

This is not the Ken Russell we know and love; not at all. If you are new to his films, do not start here--start anywhere but here. If you like his films, my advice would be to avoid this like the plague, since it may well spoil your appreciation of his classic works forever.

Claims that the film contains complex symbolism etc. etc. etc. are unfounded. The cultural references, which an intelligent man like Russell should be in complete command of, are lazy and childish. And even to a person such as myself, who adores 'The Devils' and all its spawn in the realms of cult trash film-making, 'The Fall of the Louse of Usher' seems in extremely poor taste throughout. It leaves an unpleasant taste, even were it not for the sad fact of its having been made by one of Britain's greatest directors of the 60s and 70s. And so i have called it unwatchable. I have lent it out twice, and twice i have heard the same---neither could sit through it. I'm sincerely unsure whether i ought to admire those reviewers who have had the patience to watch it through, more than once as it may be.

As i conclude, i am still unhappy. This is because words cannot describe how awful this film is. It is simply beyond my power to explain. If it has found a sympathetic audience amongst some (as it seems to have done), then i suppose i am glad. But Ken, what were you thinking? Obviously this film went straight to DVD and had no general release. If you really wish to see it, try to rent it; buying it at full price is a significant risk, as you may, like me, end up hiding it away in a cupboard so you don't have to see it on your shelf beside classics such as 'The Devils', 'Women in Love' and 'Gothic'.

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