The Criterion Shelf: Grindhouse Gothic – Roger Corman Directs Edgar Allan Poe | That Shelf

Criterion Shelf - Corman Directs Poe

Criterion Shelf is an ongoing collaborative retrospective of classic films, helmed by Bil Antoniou, tackling curated collections on the Criterion Channel. For October 2023, I contributed a write-up of the classic film Masque of the Red Death from the Roger Corman-directed Edgar Allan Poe cycle of films starring Vincent Price.

If you grew up in the 1980s and 1990s with Tim Burton movies (and the music video for Thriller), a specific version of Vincent Price is probably fixed in your mind. The incredible thrill of watching films like this one, or (almost) any of the Corman-Poe cycle films, is the realization that the version is not a caricature: Price was a larger-than-life, stagy-as-hell performer, and this is in no way a complaint.