Synopsis: Francis Barnard travels to Spain to investigate the death of his sister, Elizabeth. Her husband, Nicholas Medina, the son of a member of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis doesn’t buy it. With the help of the Medina family friend, Doctor Charles Leon and the support of Nicholas’ sister, Catherine, Francis discovers that it was extreme fear that supposedly killed his sister and that she may have been buried alive. But all is not as it seems in this tale of haunted childhood memories, torture, adultery past and present and betrayal! We dive deep into the mind and memories of Nicholas AND his father, Sebastian Medina, leading only to madness…in the pit…
Originally, Roger Corman had wanted to film Masque of the Red Death as the 2nd film in his Poe film cycle, but some of the story and stylistic choices in Masque were so influenced by Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), Corman felt the timing would be poor, looking as though he were ripping off certain elements, so he decided to hold off on Masque and went ahead with The Pit and the Pendulum instead.
From Wikipedia: "...However Samuel Z. Arkoff said it was his and James H. Nicholson's decision to make Pit as the second Poe film "because it was a lot more graphic and in the second place, Masque of the Red Death would have needed a dancing troupe that would have been quite expensive. In all those early Poe pictures we had relatively few actors, so when we did finally make Masque of the Red Death we went to the UK where it would be less expensive to do it."
The Pit and the Pendulum stars Vincent Price as both Nicholas and Sebastian Medina, John Kerr as Francis Barnard, B-movie/horror icon Barbara Steele as Elizabeth Barnard Medina, Luana Anders as Catherine Medina, Antony Carbone as Dr. Charles Leon, and Patrick Westwood as Maximillian. Richard Matheson wrote the screenplay again, taking a short story and fleshing out new details to make it feature length.
The Fall of the House of Usher, also known as House of Usher, was the first of the Corman-Poe cycle of the 1960s…that is, the first of a series of films based (usually very loosely) on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, where produced by American International Pictures and directed by the King of B-movies himself, Roger Corman.
According to Wikipedia, "The original idea, usually credited to Corman and Lou Rusoff, was to take Poe's story The Fall of the House of Usher, which had both a high name-recognition value and the merit of being in the public domain, and thus royalty-free, and expand it into a feature film. Corman convinced the studio to give him a larger budget than the typical AIP film so he could film the movie in widescreen and color, and use it to create lavish sets as well. The success of House of Usher led AIP to finance further films based on Poe's stories. The sets and special effects were often reused in subsequent movies (for example, the burning roof of the Usher mansion reappears in most of the other films as stock footage), making the series quite cost-effective.”
The Fall of the House of Usher starred Vincent Price, as did almost all of the other films of the Corman-Poe cycle, even the “honourable mentions” (which are considered by some to be a part of the cycle, but aren’t necessarily based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and are therefore not “official”). The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson, American genre novel and screenwriter, who also wrote episodes of the Twilight Zone TV series, and whose many titles you will recognize either as films you’ve seen or books you’ve read, including: The Shrinking Man, Hell House, I Am Legend (short story), A Stir of Echoes, What Dreams May Come, Steel (Real Steel), Somewhere in Time, and many more.
The rest of the cast includes Mark Damon as Philip Winthrop, Myrna Fahey as Madeline Usher, and the butler, Bristol played by Harry Ellerbe.
“Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana” by Regan W. H. Macaulay & Kevin Risk
To be published in Autumn 2020 by Mirror World Publishing. Illustrations by Gordon Bagshaw.
Libby is a cactus plant with self-esteem issues. After Violet moves in next to her on the windowsill, Libby learns that perceived flaws, which make her feel different, also makes her special.