Saturday, October 16, 2010

CSI - 1800's

Mucho years ago, when I was a kid, my mom used to take me to the Theater for the Deaf. There were generally two actors for each character--one signing and the other speaking. In the program, there would be a list of what sign was used for each name.

"Edgar Allen Poe" was a biography, interspersed with reenactments of some of the more famous stories. The signing Poe was "P" to the heart and the speaking Poe was "P" to the head. They conversed, these two, each telling the other he was perfectly sane. I might have eight or nine.

This was my introduction to Poe.

The deaf aren't going to hear the beating of a tell-tale heart. However, they can feel it when the bass of the speakers has been turned up, and I could feel it too, and it just about beat beat beat the crap out of me. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever witnessed. And when that fake head was pulled out of the floor with the under-lighting and they turned it around to show that awful eye, I screamed like a banshee.

I don't remember if anyone else screamed. I do remember that no one heard me but Mom.

Vincent Price, not to be undone, did his own version.

As much as I love James Mason's version, here's one by Iggy Pop:

And in other cautionary tales of sloppy body disposal, here's Diamanda Galas reading "The Black Cat":

Which I guess goes to that rule of mystery writing. "Never kill a cat."

And that ends our week of Poe!


Anonymous said...

It's hard to beat that UPA cartoon. It's a classic.

-danno, tired.

Chris Sobieniak said...