Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Of Many Men and Moviegoing with Poe

I have discovered the place for an unattached girl to eat lunch if she wants to be completely surrounded by men.

City Dogs in the Slip.

Waiting at the bar for my friend to arrive, I looked around the place and noticed that except for the servers and me, everyone in the place had a Y chromosome.

Since I was the one who had suggested City Dogs to my (male) friend for lunch, I'm not sure what this says about me, but it was glaringly noticeable.

There were 13 dog choices, not including the corn dog nuggets which I consider beneath mention, although sure enough, a guy came in, perched on the stool next to me and ordered them.

I had the Coney Island Sabrett Dog (chili, mustard, onions and shredded cheese) and my friend had the Boston Dog (sauerkraut, bacon and relish) and we shared an order of onion rings.

Next to us, two guys started with beers and shots before moving on to their dogs; theirs was a manly lunch for sure.

Afterwards, our destination was the Poe Museum for the Poe Goes to the Movies exhibit of posters and memorabilia from Poe-related film projects.

In several cases, there were movie posters from multiple countries for the same movie. 1963's The Raven, for instance, had U.S., Czech and French verisons.

Notable was that Jack Nicholson was in that film and pictured on one of the posters; he looked so young as to be almost unrecognizable.

Along with the posters for The Murders in the Rue Morgue was a letter from Universal Pictures sending stills of the soon-to-be-released 1932 film to the Poe Museum for display.

I was fascinated to see that the letter was signed by Joe Weil, the Director of Exploitation. Is that a great job title or what?

I'm willing to bet that there are no more officially titled Directors of Exploitation in any field in 2010.

The poster for the 1968 version of Spirits of the Dead billed itself as "Edgar Allen Poe's Ultimate Orgy," an apt come-on for that free-wheeling period of the sexual revolution.

The film starred Brigitte Bardot, scantily clad on the poster, but also featured an early appearance by a very young Jane Fonda in a small role.

For whatever reason, Brigitte and Jane must have seemed the perfect embodiment of a Poe orgy in the sixties.

Promotional materials for the films that were sent to theaters provided a chuckle (references to the "French wench" in one) as did a Vincent Price doll, commanding in a cape inside his little box.

Price appeared in so many of the Poe films that he will forever be remembered for those types of roles, but who exactly would want an action figure of him?

We found it vintage funny.

We finished up our visit with a short film version of The Tell-Tale Heart upstairs in the tiny room under the eaves.

A chilly and dark spot, it was ideal to digest our dogs and enjoy our last taste of Poe for the day.

"Dissemble no more...It is the beating of his hideous heart!"

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