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Tales of Poe

USA 2014
produced by
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

Tell-Tale Heart

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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  • 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,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD