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Ken Russell
The Fall of the Louse of Usher
(the first attempt)

The Louse, the baebes, the underground queens

 

Ken Russell tried to independantly finance The Fall of the Louse of Usher in 1999-2000. It was to be a horror comedy musical based on Edgar Allen Poe stories including The Fall of the House of Usher.

It was being independently financed, Russell wanting to be free of studio constraints. It woild have been his first "own" film since Whore. Since that he has worked on television (including Lady Chatterley) and produced such commissioned work as Dogboys and Mindbender as well as directing in the theatre and writing a novel.

Roger Daltry in Lisztomania

Roger Daltry of the Who was the star. He worked with Russell on Tommy and Lisztomania.  Ken would also play a role as well as directing, of course.  Music was by the Mediaeval Baebes.

Mediaeval Babes

An interview in the Guardian (14 Dec 1999 by Bibi van der See) says:

This man embodies the 70s in all their excess and tackiness. His films can be extraordinarily beautiful, hugely over the top and incredibly self-indulgent: the times may have changed, but he has not. He's about to start work on an underground film with some girls he met in Edinburgh ("queens of the underground", he calls them) based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. "But we're calling it The Fall of the Louse of Usher so no one's confused." The usual problems of raising money are less pressing here. The girls are going to get their mates round to film it. "No one has ever heard of any of the actors, and we've got a rock band no one's ever heard of either, called The Poze, because in this one Roddy Usher is a rock star: it's an update of the original." And let's not forget the golden gorilla, and Russell himself playing Doctor Calahari. "It incorporates about half a dozen of Poe's most grotesque tales, so it's going to be a bit of a romp."

 


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