Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
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The Black Cat 

Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) stars as the legendary writer Edgar Allen Poe, driven to debt and drunken folly by a world cruelly indifferent to his poetry.


Stuart Gordon


Mick Garris (creator), Dennis Paoli (teleplay) | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Elyse Levesque ... Virginia Poe
Jeffrey Combs ... Edgar Allan Poe
Aron Tager ... George Graham
Patrick Gallagher ... Barman
Christopher Heyerdahl ... Rufus Griswold
Ian Alexander Martin Ian Alexander Martin ... Mr. Fordham
Ken Kramer ... Doctor
Eric Keenleyside ... Sgt. Booker
Ryan Crocker Ryan Crocker ... Policeman


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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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 »


When the police are breaking down the wall in the basement, it flexes like plywood, instead of brick 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 Unique Congratulation (2014) See more »


Come Rest in This Bosom
By Thomas Moore
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User Reviews

Poe-tic Madness!
25 January 2008 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

I don't know (nor care) how much research went prior to writing the teleplay for "The Black Cat" and neither do I know to what extent the little details about Edgar Allan Poe's private life are truthful. Basically I just assume that it was Start Gordon's intention to illustrate how creative brilliance and mental madness are two inseparable qualities a horror novelist must dispose of. The tormented protagonist in this umpteenth adaptation of E.A. Poe's legendary tale of "The Black Cat" is no other than … E.A. Poe himself! "The Black Cat" also marks Stuart Gordon's second attempt at the narration of a Poe tale, after his straight-to-video version of "The Pit and the Pendulum" in the early 90's. As expected, this is one of the better episodes in the Masters of Horror's second season, though slightly more flawed than I initially expected … or hoped. Jeffrey Combs' performance is – as always – mesmerizing, the filming locations and costumes are downright exquisite and perfectly capture the depressingly harsh atmosphere of the 19th Century first half, but the script is slightly lackluster and even a bit tedious at times. Combs stars as (and creepily resembles) Edgar Allan Poe and the story takes place during an incredibly difficult period of his life. Poe is completely out of writing-inspiration, struggles with financial problems as well as alcoholism and his beloved young wife Virginia fell victim to a severe illness. Unable to deal with all of this, he develops a strange paranoid condition where he thinks the black house cat is some kind of immortal demon that gradually destroys his entire existence. Even though the episodes in the Master of Horror series barely last an hour, this almost seems to be long in this case and the lack of relevant subject matter inevitably leads to a couple of redundant padding sequences. The actual share of the titular black cat only begins halfway through the tale, and before that it's primarily Poe's own drinking abuse that dominates. There's only one gory part in "The Black Cat", but I assure it's one that counts! Oh yes, this one-hour film features – hands down – THE greatest axe murder ever depicted. Combs receives excellent support from Elyse Levesque as Virginia. I never heard of her before, but she's quite talented and extremely good-looking. With a number of episodes still waiting on my personal must-see list, "The Black Cat" ranks as the second best of series two so far, second to Brad Anderson's "Sounds Like".

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Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA) See more »

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