Burning Down the House
I have contributed a video essay to Arrow’s dazzling new Blu-ray of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER — sharing space with Jonathan Rigby, Joe Dante and Tim Lucas, which is pretty fine company to be in. If you enjoyed PIECES OF PETULIA then you’ll… perhaps also enjoy FRAGMENTS OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. What next? CHUNKS OF CHARIOTS OF FIRE? GOBBETS OF GODZILLA? Only time will tell.
As with the PETULIA essay, editor Timo Langer deserves mucho credit for his editing skills, and thanks are also due to Francesco Simeoni at Arrow for commissioning the thing and offering helpful feedback throughout.
The essay is ten minutes long — my only regret was that I’m a little critical of Richard Matheson’s screenplay, not expecting him to die just before the thing came out. And anyway, one never knows if screenplays are flawed due to the writer or due to rewriting by other hands or what. I seem to recall an interview where Matheson said he wasn’t too pleased with the end product and considered putting his pseudonym on it, Logan Swanson, “who has really written some awful junk.”
In fact, the script is mainly quite nifty and allows Vincent Price plenty of opportunity for eyebrow arching.