Directed by Giuliano Giacomelli, Edo Tagliavini, Domiziano Cristopharo, Donatello Della Pepa
Written by Andrea Cavaletto, Giuliano Giacomelli, Edo Tagliavini
Starring Dario Biancone, Angelo Campus, David D'Ingeo, Francesco Malcom, Manlio Maresca
90 mins - Horror - Release date: 21 November 2012 (Italia)
As we all know, Edgar Allan Poe is a master of and the macabre. Considering his stories are over 100 years old, it makes sense to update them for an audience today. It’s not necessary, but it makes sense. With such rich storytelling it should be fairly difficult to screw things up, but I guess that’s like saying a car company, after 100 years of manufacturing experience, should never produce a lemon. It happens.
It might be lost on me due to its Italian origins, but P.O.E. Project of Evil — the anthology horror from directors Giuliano Giacomelli, Edo Tagliavini, Domiziano Cristopharo, and Donatello Della Pepa — is a lemon. The selected stories were so far removed from the Poe source material that they are rendered nearly unrecognizable. Not just that, but the macabre element seems to have been replaced with weird sexual perversions — not very innovative and wholly unsatisfactory.
The Poe selections covered here include: “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “Solo,” “Loss of Breath,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The System of Dr. Tar and Prof. Feather,” and “The Premature Burial.”
Months ago, when this film first came to my attention, I was very excited for it. It seemed so full of potential, but it ultimately fell short.
Unless you’re desperate for entertainment, have a macabre interest in bad movies, or you’re studying “how not to make a movie,” you won’t be missing anything by skipping this one. That being said, it is a good title from Brain Damage Films (but only if you disassociate Poe from the title). But “Poe” is in the title, and because of the crappy retelling of his classic stories, I have to give P.O.E. Project of Evil just one skull.