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Episode 10: American Gothic Double Feature: The Raven & The Masque of the Red Death


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The tenth episode of Daughters of Darkness is the first in a series of special double feature discussions to tie in with Diabolique’s American Gothic-themed summer season. In this one, Kat and Samm explore Roger Corman’s delightful Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, most of which starred horror icon Vincent Price — and sometimes his fellow genre luminaries Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. They give an overview of this eight film series, as well as a few titles American International Pictures attempted to include, but they specifically examine the horror-comedy The Raven (1963) and the morbidly colorful The Masque of the Red Death (1964).

In The Raven, Price plays a good-hearted magician who agrees to help Peter Lorre’s character get revenge on the sinister Scarabus (Karloff), who has a number of surprises at his eerie castle by the seaside. Laser beams, wizardly hijinks, too-big hats, and a number of other shenanigans ensue, aided and abetted by a young Jack Nicholson. The Masque of the Red Death, on the other hand, is a serious horror tale set in the medieval fortress of avowed Satanist Prince Prospero, who holes up with scores of guests to throw an elaborate masked ball while a deadly plague rages outside his doors.

The episode also includes a discussion of Poe’s work, his impact on European readers, and his legacy as a major figure of American Gothic — as well as nineteenth century fears, like being buried alive, and how they factor into the Corman-Price-Poe series.

In addition, Kat recently contributed to Arrow’s upcoming Blu-ray release of Dan Curtis’s Burnt Offerings, which you can preorder now, while Samm has just begun a Ken Russell series over at Diabolique. They also recommend checking out the magazine Art Decades, which will have a new issue out soon, and the podcast Hello! This is the Doomed Show.

About Kat EllingerAbout Samm DeighanSubscribe on iTunes

About Samm Deighan

Samm Deighan is the Associate Editor of DiaboliqueMagazine.com and hosts their Daughters of Darkness podcast. She's the editor of Satanic Pandemonium, has contributed to Fangoria, Paracinema, and Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, among others, and she's currently writing a book on WWII and cult cinema.

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