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1936 Italian horror short turns Edgar Allan Poe story into one of the earliest gore films
08:24 am


Edgar Allen Poe
Il caso Valdemar

No one does horror like the Italians, and it’s a tradition that goes back a long while. Check out this 1936 masterpiece of gore, Il caso Valdemar—it’s just riveting. Surprisingly, the two directors (Gianni Hoepli and Ubaldo Magnaghi) have virtually no additional credits at IMDB, leaving one to assume they were amateurs? The acting is superb and the cinematography is incredibly stylized and sophisticated, with tight, disorienting shots at odd angles, reminiscent of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The main attraction though, is the disgusting final scene, an incredible early special effect.

Il caso Valdemar is actually an adaptation of “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” an 1845 short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In an incredibly devious move, Poe presented the story as true, and let people believe it actually happened for a while before finally admitting his hoax. In the story, Ernest Valdemar is dying of tuberculosis. He requests that his friend (the narrator, a mesmerist), mesmerize him on his deathbed. Valdemar is put into a trance by the narrator and announces his own death. For seven months, Valdemar lie dead, but preserved. The narrator eventually wakes his tormented subject, and Valdemar decomposes at a rapid rate.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Edgar Allan Poe sweater
11:09 am


Edgar Allen Poe

This limited-edition Edgar Allan Poe sweater by online shop Archie McPhee is being marketed for Halloween, but honestly it just seems like a fun Autumn / Winter sweater to me.

I couldn’t find the fiber content on the Archie McPhee website. It’s selling for the reasonable price of $42.50, so I’m going to assume it’s not wool or cashmere but made of acrylic or some other type of synthetic fiber.

Below, Poe on Poe:

via Laughing Squid

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Eraserhead’ and Wire’s ‘154’ album cover sweaters
Awesome Kraftwerk sweater
Vintage Beer Sweaters
Wu-Tang knit sweater
Reindeer In Blood: the Slayer Christmas sweater!
Trash with Class: John Waters’ muse Divine immortalized in $1300 knitted sweaters

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Scented candles inspired by writers: Saturate your lonely room with the morbidity of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

I have never understood the reasoning behind “celebrity scents.” Creating a perfume that doesn’t reek of death or chemicals is clearly a rare skill, otherwise the air would never be thick with Axe body spray and pearberry lotion (seriously, what the fuck is a pearberry?)? So why would we assume that Rihanna or Katy Perry have any semblance of talent at perfume-making, or even (more likely) that they can be trusted to hire some one who does? I say leave it up to the pros, and be wary of smells “inspired” by anyone you don’t associate with classic beauty and style (That Britney Spears spritz smells like sweet-tarts that somebody pissed on!)

Well, the folks at Paddywax Candles disagree with me, and have decided to take celebrity scents a step further with their “Library Collection,” a line of scented candles “inspired” by famous literary figures. And who doesn’t want to smell their home to smell like a famous literary figure? There’s Emily Dickinson, a little lavender and cassis number named for the notorious shut-in. They even included her famous quote, “Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell!” I suppose it’s for burning when you don’t want company?

There’s an Edgar Allan Poe, too! What does marriage to your 13-year-old first cousin (Poe was 27 at the time) smell like? Cardamom, absynthe and sandalwood, apparently! (I’d have thought Poe’s signature scent would have been closer to gin.)

And then there’s the famously witty Oscar Wilde, whose slow, grueling death in a forced labor camp smells of cedarwood, thyme, and basil! While I cannot find the quote used to commemorate Wilde, I don’t believe it’s my personal favorite of his words, written shortly after his imprisonment (and essentially, long-running execution) for homosexuality:

When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. I know that would be equally fatal. It would mean that I would always be haunted by an intolerable sense of disgrace, and that those things that are meant for me as much as for anybody else – the beauty of the sun and moon, the pageant of the seasons, the music of daybreak and the silence of great nights, the rain falling through the leaves, or the dew creeping over the grass and making it silver – would all be tainted for me, and lose their healing power, and their power of communicating joy. To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.

That one might be a little much for a candle, I suppose…

Look, I love all these authors, and actually, these candles probably smell great, but can we please refrain from reducing some of the greatest achievements in the English language to the shallow lifestyle of celebrity endorsement? They all smell like dusty bones and earthworms now, anyways.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Vincent Price: ‘An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe’

Vincent Price is on sparkling form in An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe, in which the Master of Horror presents his unique interpretation of 4 tales by “the most original genius America has produced” - “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Sphinx”, “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”. Directed by Kenneth Johnson, who later created the classic series V, this is a classic TV adaptation from 1970, capturing Price at his electrifying best.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

100 tiny portraits of Vincent Price

Vincent Price hams it up in the bathroom


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Edgar Allan Poe: “I’m Sorry. My Friend Got Me Drunk”
05:45 pm


Edgar Allen Poe
Letters of Note


Check out this original letter from Edgar Allan Poe apologizing for his drunken behavior in New York. No wonder he faked his own death… probably to escape bar tabs! Via Letters of Note:

Despite his fame, writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe struggled financially throughout his entire career, even following the publication of his much lauded poem, The Raven. He also enjoyed a drink or two, to a dangerously extent during later life. The following letter was written by Poe in July, 1842, and sent to his publishers along with an article he was desperately hoping they would buy. In the letter, Poe apologises for behaving badly when they last met in New York and blames the embarrassment on his friend William Ross Wallace, a fellow poet who supposedly let Poe drink too many juleps before the meeting.

The letter reads:


   Enclosed I have the honor to send you an article which I should be pleased if you would accept for the ?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment