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three peeps say WHAT?!?

The Tell-tale Cask in the Rue Morgue of M. Valdemar

There are some movies that you have to either accept and be drawn along for the ride, or resist and stand on a rocky promontory shouting over the din, and wondering what all the fuss is about. The Fall of the Louse of Usher is one of these.

It's a Very Strange Movie, Indeed. And that's the problem. Internally it makes perfect sense, albeit a dreamlike quasi-logical sense. It hits and flows its way through several Edgar Allan Poe stories while telling the story of a rock star (Roddy Usher) whose wife (Annabelle Lee Usher) was murdered, and who is consigned to an asylum ("not guilty by reason of insanity"). In the end, of course, it was Rod's jealous sister Madeline who killed Annabelle Lee with the assistance of the family's gorilla -- she confesses and kills herself because she thinks Rod is Dead (premature burial) -- then Roddy kills himself, and finally their secret incestuous children have the House to themselves. It all makes sense in the Poe-vian context of the film, if you let it. There are also several of Poe's poems set to musical numbers (presented as music videos from Rod's rockstar days).

As a Smithee film, it Just Don't Work. The parts that don't make sense really do make sense, and vice versa. The budget was low, and the production values are poor. Less than thirty years after Ken Russell directed Tommy, this is what he's got to work with? It is for shame.

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