100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Fifty-Seven - "The House of Usher!"


Well yesterday was a fuck-up but not by any fault of my own.

I have been trying to download "Creature from the Black Lagoon" for days now and it just keeps stalling out. So I left my computer running yesterday in hopes of capturing it by midnight but it just didn't fucking happen. So no movie, no post yesterday. BUT - the damn thing says it's almost done - 65 percent in fact - so if and when it does, I shall watch it and blog it.

I am, however, in anticipation of today's 50-year-old classic, Roger Corman's "House of Usher!"

Stay tuned for a special update from "100 Days" in the next few days!

House of Usher (1960): Directed by Roger Corman. Starring Vincent Price, Mark Damon and Myrna Fahey.

The Skinny: Based on Edgar Allen Poe's famous story, this film is based on the eponymous mansion where the strange Usher family has resided for ages. Now, however, their reality is crashing down around them as an ancient family curse comes to horrid fruition.

What's Good: One of Corman's earliest films for American International, this classic sees him cutting his teeth and creating what he would soon be well known for - crafting a suitably creepy atmosphere. It doesn't follow the story to the letter of course, but it makes for an interesting study regardless. And frankly, just about anything with Vincent Price in it makes me swoon.

What's Bad: Again, it is not a faithful retelling of the story, so for the Poe Purists (and we are out there, indeed), it falls short of the mark. But for those of us who enjoy a fun romp with silly, overly dramatic acting and shitty sets, then dive right in!

Why We Like It: Like I said, it's got atmosphere if nothing else. You get the sensation that the weirdness at the Usher Mansion has been going on for quite some time, and Price plays up the incestuous nature of his relationship with his sister with subtle, guilt-ridden glances and furtive gestures. It's a great piece that deserves some attention some 50 years later.

Memorable Stuff: The final scenes where the curse comes full circle and the house breaks asunder and sinks into the swamp are arguably the best scenes in the movie, although as previously mentioned, any of Price's screentime is worthy of admission alone.