The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)
Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) takes a journey to a dark and desolate mansion that seems to be crawling with ruin and rot . What brings him is his fiancé Madeline (Myrna Fahey), but what keeps him there longer than he ever anticipated is her brother Roderick (Vincent Price) believing his family, and their house, accursed, and not wanting the bloodline to continue on any longer. “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a movie that seems to be decaying before your very eyes. Although it is clunky in parts, and strange, (which is a virtue here) the overall aesthetic value raises this from the level of your average schlock B-Movie. This is one of Roger Corman’s finest productions. It may be due to the fact, that even though this is a B-Movie made by the king of said movies, and the premise is as campy as they come, it is never played for laughs or even grins. All three of the main actors here get their moments to shine. Price was born to be in films like this and conveys the necessary creepiness, with an underlying humanity. Winthrop, the most worldly of the characters is portrayed convincingly and earnestly by Mark Damon, and Fahey, who is subdued for much of the movie gets her moment to shine near the end, which I will not spoil. This was the first of eight Edgar Allen Poe stories that Corman would go on to make, and definitely one of the most faithful to the source material. This is a great, somewhat forgotten , except for film geeks, flick that would serve one well around the Halloween season. So go ahead and make a note of that now.