I’m not certain, but I think it’s safe to say that Edgar Allan Poe is one of, if not the most, adapted authors in the English language. Echoes from the Grave, like the recent Poern, is an Italian take on his works featuring ten segments based on, or at least inspired by, his works.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Lorenzo Dante Zanoni (Vore Gore). Starring Tommaso Arnaldi (Hybris).
An unnamed prisoner suffers hallucinations after being driven mad by the sound of his victim’s heartbeat. A decent short that features some gooey flesh-melting effects.
“The Pit and The Pendulum” by Donatello Della Pepa (P.O.E.: Project of Evil). Written by Donatello Della Pepa and Luca Ruocco (Jekyll/Hide). Starring Cristiano Morroni (School Is Over)
This segment takes a 180-degree turn from the original story and has its victim trapped in a white room and subject to psychological torture that eventually produces physical results.
“The Black Cat” is a stop-motion film by Paolo Gaudio (Asylum).
A well-done piece of animation that captures the tone of Poe’s story nicely.
“Alone” by Angelo and Giuseppe Capasso (108.1 FM Radio). Starring Dario Biancone (The Perfect Fear), Angelo Campus (Dark Waves), and Santa De Santis (.The Last House in the Woods).
A man wakes up and finds himself tied to a pallet jack in a warehouse. His captor wants revenge, but for what neither we nor the captive, know. A distinctly gory segment with a nice bit of mystery to it.
“Never Bet The Devil Your Head” by Mirko Virgili (Fade Out). Written by Filippo Luciano Santaniello (Kidnapped in Romania). Starring Wayne Abbruscato (Wayne Abbruscato, E.N.D. The Movie), Arian Levanael (The Transparent Woman), Rene Salazar Batista (House of Ravens) and Aurora Kostova (Tales to Tell in the Dark). Special Guest: Frank LaLoggia (Lady in White).
A YouTube star known for his dangerous, and faked, challenges finds himself on the receiving end of some supernatural karma after one of his viewers dies recreating his Russian Roulette video.
Frank LaLoggia steals this one with a wonderfully sleazy performance backed up with some distorted camerawork and practical gore.
“King Pest” by Alessandro Redaelli (A Taste of Phobia). Starring Antonio Pauletta (Ghostboat), Ettore Nicoletti (Dead House), Mattia Stasolla (House of Ravens), Amelie Perillon (Seeking Refuge), Francesca Germini (Pray for Diamonds), Wayne Abbruscato (E.N.D. The Movie), Toni Pandolfo (Dracula 3D), and Massimo Onorato (Shock: My Abstraction of Death).
Shot like a stage play, this segment chronicles the misadventures of a pair of drunks who stagger into the wrong bar.
“Silence (a poetry)” by Angelo and Giuseppe Capasso (108.1 FM Radio). Starring Dario Biancone (The Perfect Fear) and Sara Cennamo.
A man wakes up and tries to piece together what happened during a blackout only to discover he was better off not knowing. This segment is only silent in the sense that there is no dialogue, there are plenty of sounds used to give the story an eerie backdrop.
“The Black Cat” by Domiziano Cristopharo (Confessions of a Necrophile Girl). Written by Andrea Cavaletto (Hidden in the Woods). Starring Chiara Pavoni (Jack the St. Ripper), Giorgio Agri (Just a Child) and Cleverson Rodriguez (7 Sins).
A very loose, to the point of being almost unrecognizable, adaptation of Poe’s story with some weird twists and painful-looking gore.
“Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Alberto Viavattene (Morgue Street). Written by Emiliano Ranzani (Blood Bags) and Alberto Viavattene. Starring Federica Tommasi, Desirée Giorgetti (House of Evil), Mario Cellini (Apocalypse), and Roberto Nali (Thou Shalt Not Kill).
The most extreme of Echoes from the Grave’s segments this may be a bit too much for some viewers. It does away with the mystery elements of Poe’s stories to concentrate on the murders with not just gore but some rather explicit bestiality and necrophilia by way of a rapist gorilla.
“The Premature Burial” by Giuliano Giacomelli (The Children of Evil). Starring Lucio Zannella (Ciastka), Marco Saraga, Virginia Bonomo, Cesare Ferri and Andrea Conticelli (Vengeance: A Bloody Dish).
A man finds himself buried in a shallow grave and has to dig his way to safety. You’ll see the twist coming but it allows the segment and Echoes from the Grave itself to end on a bloody note.
Overall, Echoes from the Grave is a very solid anthology. While the segments vary greatly in tone and content none of them are really bad with the possible exception of “Murders in the Rue Morgue” which I found a bit over the top and some viewers may have issues with. But from a technical point of view all the segments are well shot and there’s plenty of well done practicle gore effects including a knife to the eye that’ll stick with you for a while.
One thing that may be a problem for some viewers is that many of the shorts in Echoes from the Grave have been used in other collections, so you may want to do a little research before you buy it, especially if you have a large collection of anthologies. But apart from that this is worth your time if you like anthologies and aren’t easily offended.