Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson

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Twilight Zone: The Movie Review


Very Good
I saw Twilight Zone: The Movie when it came out in 1983. My dad, brother and I wandered into the theatre late and assumed we missed the beginning of the film. Instead of the familiar Twilight Zone intro, here were two guys (Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks) yukking it up in a car. After a few minutes of on-screen banter, my dad leans over to me and says, "I think we're in the wrong movie."

We decide to stick it out and sure enough, Aykroyd turns to Brooks and says, "Do you want to see something really scary?" Brooks agrees and the rest is scary movie history. Cue audience screams. We were, indeed, in the right movie.

Continue reading: Twilight Zone: The Movie Review

The Pit And The Pendulum Review


OK
As part of his Edgar Allan Poe series in the 1960s (including The Raven, House of Usher, and The Masque of the Red Death), Roger Corman created The Pit and the Pendulum, based on one of Poe's best-known works.

Well, in title, anyway. The story, about a man trapped in the torture chamber during the Spanish Inquisition isn't so well-known itself. And Corman and writer Richard Matheson (The Omega Man) take some extensive liberties with the story, turning into a tale about the son (Vincent Price) of a Spanish Inquisitor who inherits his father's house of horrors (torture chamber included). His adulturous wife (Barbara Steele) has faked her own death and is trying to drive her husband crazy... and when she succeeds, she gets more than she bargained for.

Continue reading: The Pit And The Pendulum Review

House Of Usher Review


Good
Good old haunted-house horror from frequent collaborators Roger Corman and Vincent Price. Mark Damon's hapless visitor to the titular house finds a brother (Price) and sister (Myrna Fahey) in failing health, all while the house seems to crumble around them. It's hot gruel all around as Damon tries to nurse the girl -- his wannabe bride -- back to health, but the cursed house will have none of it. Filled with ineffective fright gags (shock cut to... an empty bed!), the Poe-inspired source material occasionally rises above the Corman-fueled production.

Continue reading: House Of Usher Review

De Sade Review


OK
There's only a twitch of irony in seeing 2001's ultimate good guy, Keir Dullea, star as one of the biggest sons of bitches in all history, the Marquis de Sade, in his biography. In a bizarre film that alternates orgies and madness with dream sequences and narrative about the Frenchman's life in the 1700s (most of it spent in prison). Essentially the film is Caligula set 1700 years later, complete with washed-out photography and no-name actresses willing to show off their, ahem, talents.

Tales Of Terror Review


OK
Three more Twice-Told Tales from Edgar Allen Poe's works, all starring Vincent Price. Only the second is worth watching -- an odd, but effective combination of "The Black Cat" and "The Cask of Amontillado" -- with Peter Lorre stealing the show as the madman who walls up his archrival and wife in the cellar, only to be undone by a meowing cat. Worth watching for this half hour alone, but skip the rest.
Richard Matheson

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