Tales of Poe
Bart Mastronardi, Alan Rowe Kelly, Robert A. Kuiper (executive), Nicole Alexis (executive), Mike Watt (executive), Amy Lynn Best (executive) for Mastropieces, Southpaw Pictures
directed by Bart Mastronardi (segments The Tell-Tale Heart, Dreams), Alan Rowe Kelly (segment The Cask)
starring segment The Tell-Tale Heart: Debbie Rochon, Alan Rowe Kelly, Lesleh Donaldson, Desiree Gould, David Marancik, Joe Quick, Jerry Murdock; segment The Cask: Randy Jones, Alan Rowe Kelly, Brewster McCall, Susan Adriensen, Zoe Daelman Chlanda, Jerry Murdock, Douglas Rowan, Amy Lynn Best, Mike Watt, Carl Burrows, David Marancik, Chris Rowan; segment Dreams: Bette Cassatt, Amy Steel, Adrienne King, Caroline Williams, Colin Cunliffe, Brewster McCall, Michael Varrati, Andrew Glaszek, Haley Turner, Cartier Williams, Joe Zaso, Lesleh Donaldson, Marc Masters
written by Bart Mastronardi (segment The Tell-Tale Heart), Alan Rowe Kelly (segment The Cask), Michael Varrati (segment Dreams), based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe, music by Tom Burns, visual effects by Paul Mackey, Chad Norris, Anthony G. Sumner
A new arrival (Debbie Rochon) to an insane asylum explains to her
fellow inmates why she was considered mad: Her last employer,
forgotten silent film star Miss Lamarr (Alan Rowe Kelly), basically a
shadow of her old self, had an eye that drove our heroine insane to
such a degree that she actually killed her, then tried to assume her
persona. But having buried her body beneath the floorplanks and
forever thinking she can still hear her heart beat isn't becoming her
- It's wine entrepreneur Montresor (Randy Jones) and Gogo's (Alan Rowe
Kelly) wedding day, and even though Montresor isn't in the best of
health, to the point where he passes out, he has the time of his life.
But Gogo has long had other plans, and together with Montresor's
business partner Lechresi (Brewster McCall) she walls her newly-wed
husband in and even sets him on fire in cold blood. But even Lechresi
can't guess how far Gogo will go in her gold-digging ways. That said,
justice is sometimes served in completely unexpected ways ...
- A hospitalized woman (Bette Cassatt), more dead than alive, drifts
off into a dream world full of colourful situations representing the
ups and downs in her life, and characters of her real life in often
unusual but sometimes all too familiar roles in this alternate reality
(Since this segment is exquisitely associative rather than purely
narrative, the above is merely my interpretation of what's going on,
you will find something completely different in there.)
Tales of Poe is made up of a pretty cool trio of modern Edgar
Alan Poe-adaptations, all of which manage to keep the spirit of the author
and also his language alive while still looking completely contemporary,
and while the stories in the film (with the exception of Dreams)
might be rather on the familiar side, writers and directors Bart
Mastronardi and Alan Rowe Kelly manage to get something new out of them to
keep the audience entertained but also shocked (in the best possible way)
- oh, and as for Dreams, it's a highly poetic tale of the macabre,
following the words of Poe but the logic of ... well, dreams.
What makes all the segments of this movie work though are also some
pretty great performances and slick directorial efforts, proving the
amazing potential of indie cinema.
Totally recommended to Poe afficionados and people who couldn't care
less for him (though I don't know if there are any) alike.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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