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Tales of Poe

Friday 2 March 2012, 09:55

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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This week John Cusack is our guest on the 5 live Film Review Show talking about his new film The Raven in which he plays the writer Edgar Allan Poe. Poe's work has been adapted for the screen on countless occasions but which is the best of the bunch?

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Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.

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    Comment number 1.

    For me its the 1991 Stuart Gordon version of the Pit and the Pendulum, Gordon is for me one of the most undervalued Horror directors. And this was the first film of his to cross my path, it made such a strong impression I had to track down all his back catalogue. If there is a Director who truly understands the subtle nuances of Poe it has to be Gordon.

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    Comment number 2.

    For me it has to be The Simpsons doing 'The Raven'.

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    Comment number 3.

    Its not a movie adaptation but I have always loved the Simpson's version of The Raven from the first Treehouse oh Horror episode, featuring an excellent rendition by James Earl Jones.

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    Comment number 4.

    Cheekily I'm going to mention "Edgar Allan Poe's The Haunted Palace" which of course isn't Edgar Allen Poe (apart from the reading of the poem) and is in fact H.P. Lovecraft. But it's interesting why it's called that. Back in 1963 Lovecraft wasn't a name most people new; but Poe... and American International Pictures wasn't going to take any chances (even if Roger Corman would).

    Back to actual Poe movies I have a real fondness for the 1964 "The Masque of the Red Death" possibly more because it was one of the first Poe stories that I had seen on film, than anything else, but I also love the egalitarian bleakness of the message(I'd bet Dr K enjoys it)... it doesn't matter how rich or privileged you are you cant cheat Death.

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    Comment number 5.

    One of my favourite films is 'Ravenous', and I think it's at least partially inspired by Poe's blend of gothic horror. Blackly comic, set in the 1840s about cannibals in the remote mountains of western America, I never tire of watching it. And somehow I'm always feeling very peckish afterwards...


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