Friday, May 4, 2012

The Raven; A Pre-Movie Ramble

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Tonight, I am going to the movie, "The Raven" starring John Cusack as the wonderful Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. Tomorrow, I will write a review. Here are a few thoughts on movies and the venerable Mr. Poe.

When I first saw the previews and trailers a few months back, I thought Yes, it's about time someone did a movie about Poe for the big screen. Our Patron Saint, Mr. Poe, rarely gets much stage time anymore. I very vaguely recall a few cheesy movies I saw on TV as a kid (made in the 60's) with Vincent Price involved, (although I don't think cheesy is a term worthy of Mr. Price. He's good in anything).  
The movies were done by Roger Corman, and enough said, you either love them as cult classics in this modern era of the 21st century, or you hate them. Either way, you are forgiven. 

 Link to Wikipedia description of The Raven, 1963

I'm undecided on the Corman 'classic horror' status. They may have been really intense in their day, but with all the changes in movies in recent decades, I think all those stories could be done a lot better.  Take for example, "The Raven" starring Vincent Price in the 60's. I saw it a few years ago on Cable and it was boring.

Link to Wikipedia Pit and Pendulum Movie

There was also "The Pit and the Pendulum."  Another ........hmmm .......strange one. Then again, maybe it's genius, who knows?

A disgustingly weird and flat 60's 'Poe' movie was "The Mask of the Red Death."

Wikipedia "Masque of Red Death" page

Done badly, or wondrously--depending on your point of view. I'll go with the former, myself. I saw it on Cable TV last summer, and argh--that's a couple of hours I'll never get back. I couldn't stop watching it, cuz I kept hoping it would get better! It didn't. Only thing going for it was Mr. Price as the lead actor. It was in that age where everyone was trying to emulate Hitchcock's genius with Vertigo or The Birds, and everyone fell short. To me, it's akin to a grad student trying to emulate Tim Burton's film genius--and doing it very badly.

Needless to say, dear Goth reader, keep in mind that a movie, any movie, even one based on solid literature and storyline, is always subject to the director's artistic vision and influences, for better or worse.  Often, it's worse. Enough said on that account. Take Tim Burton, for example. His doing Alice in Wonderland gave it a darker flavor then say, the Disney version. 

I've often wondered why the works of Edgar Allan Poe have not been mined by Hollywood in recent years. I've often wondered why Tim Burton, the Dark Film God of this Age, has not tapped into the Master Poe's works for the big screen. I absolutely loved Sleepy Hollow, an early Tim Burton/Johnny Depp Movie.  
 Atmosphere pic of Sleepy Hollow Movie

The atmosphere alone in that movie was worthy of an Oscar nomination, it was that tangible and deliciously creepy. And just think, Burton could work up the atmospheres for Poe's works and give them the finesse they truly deserve.

Back to "The Raven". I've heard good and bad things. I'm a little nervous, wondering if it will be just another bad Poe movie. I'm also hopeful, as John Cusack is a brilliant actor. I want to like this one, I really do. But people, critics, are already bashing it.  Well, all I can do is go and give my honest opinion. 

Tune in this weekend for my own review. And don't forget to get a free copy of my E-Book, Dark Hero, a Very Gothic Romance at   Link          Use coupon code WG572

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