Brain Damaged Film’s P.O.E. Project Of Evil is comprised of seven short stories supposedly based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. If you are looking for some straight up Poe, you won’t find it here. These shorts are VERY loose adaptations of Poe’s work more of an “inspired by” type of deal. The only real thing in common is the titles, and an occasional voiceover narration of the scribe.
Now, that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the films. I am not going to bore you with seven different reviews, one for each short, some are not worth mentioning, plus it would be just too time consuming.
The films themselves remind me of the experimental films I was into during my “film snob” phase in College. Dark and gritty films pushing the boundaries of sex, drugs, gore, and narrative. A filmmaker that sticks in my mind from that era is Richard Kern. Kern with such films as Goo, Fingered, X Is Y, and The Evil Cameraman, he didn’t give a fuck about pleasing the masses, he just wanted to shock you, to paint a very dark image with an even darker canvass. Italian filmmakers, Donatello Della Pepa, Angelo & Giuseppe Capasso, Edo Tagliavini, Alberto Viavattene, Nathan Nicholovitch, Domiziano Cristopharo, Giuliano Giacomelli, use this same technique but exploit it by slapping Poe’s name on the box and using his titles for no real reason.
Now that’s not to say I didn’t like some of the shorts, ‘Morgue Street’ was one of my favorites. The short featured a pet Ape escaping his captor and raping and killing two prostitutes, and not in that particular order. Am I demented for enjoying this short? I don’t think so. It’s me celebrating a filmmaker’s vision of taking what he has in his mind and filming it, with no outside censorship or recourse, making exactly what he wants the audience to see. In today’s world of sequels and remakes this is refreshing, no matter how graphic, disturbing, or just plan strange it is. This is why short films and independent film is so important. Especially in the horror genre.
Another one I really enjoyed was ‘Alone’ about a guy and his wife who belittled an acquaintance a long time ago, and he comes back after years to get revenge. This is an especially gory short with superb acting and direction. This is one of the more narrative structured pieces that actually has dialogue and a beginning, middle and end.
‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ is one of my favorite stories ever written. It’s full of dread, personal anguish, and compulsion. However in P.O.E., It is just butchered, no wonderful morsels of Poe’s story are intact, except for one voiceover line. Truly disappointing.
There are four more stories that are neither good nor bad, all mediocre but just as disturbing and shocking. After watching the film I literally felt dirty and wanted a shower to wash the filth off. This is not a bad thing. How many films do you watch and feel absolutely nothing when it is finished? Tons.
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