Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday.
Little did he know (Poe only became famous and well-known posthumously) that he would go on to influence filmmakers and songwriters alike with his short stories and poetry.
And there are some really great adaptations of his work. In the 1960s, Vincent Price starred in quite a few of the master poet's pieces, most notably The House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death.
But there are also some really horrible ones. So, to honor the great writer on his birthday, we've put together a collection of film adaptations that would have Poe rolling over in his grave.
The Mask of the Red Death (2013)
To be fair, this hasn't come out yet, so we can't really say whether or not it will be horrible. But we would bet money that it will be. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2241639/">However, it is described on IMDB as </a>"A post apocalyptic, steam punk styled version of Poe's classic story." Sounds pretty bad to us.
House of Usher (2008)
<a href="http://www.epinions.com/review/Edgar_Allan_Poe_s_House_of_Usher_epi/content_515974729348?sb=1">Epinions</a>: "I think its great that some one is taking an interest in classic horror, and in gay movies. I just wish it was someone with talent."
The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)
<a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1031984-pit_and_the_pendulum/">About.com:</a> "Boring adaptation with no scares, no mood and no sex appeal (considering it's a form of sexual persecution)"
The Pit and the Pendulum (2009)
<a href="http://moria.co.nz/horror/pit-and-the-pendulum-2009.htm">Moria:</a> "The film has very little in common with the Edgar Allan Poe short story The Pit and the Pendulum (1850)...Indeed, take away the 2-3 minutes featuring Bart Voitila tied up beneath a pendulum at the climax and all that we have is a cheap film about hypnotism murders that has appropriated Edgar Allan Poe’s name to sell itself."
<a href="http://thevideovacuum.livejournal.com/801339.html">The Video Vacuum:</a> "This movie was a big disappointment to me because despite the title, there are no half man-half fish monsters. (“Manfish” is just the name of the boat.) It still can be classified as a horror movie though because it features Lon Chaney Jr. perpetually shirtless. And let me tell ya something folks, few things are as horrifying as that."
The Raven (2012)
This is the only of these movies that we have actually seen, so we can personally attest to its awfulness. We've never seen such an unconvincing portrayal of Poe (played by John Cusack). The only thing they have in common is vaguely looking alike. We went into the movie theater knowing this was going to be bad, but it ended up blowing our minds with how horrible it was. Don't believe us? <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_raven_2012/">The movie received a 22% rating</a> on Rotton Tomatoes.
CLARIFICATION: This piece formerly stated: "Vincent Price adapted quite a few of the master poet's pieces." We have changed "adapted" to "starred in" to clarify that he did not write or direct the adaptations.