The Making of Corman’s Poe Films Revealed: Inside CORMAN/POE

While Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films of the 1960s have been examined in the past, never before has their creation been so thoroughly documented. “CORMAN/POE: Interviews and Essays Exploring the Making of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe Films, 1960–1964” offers one of the most comprehensive looks at the series of eight Poe-inspired films that redefined horror cinema.

Compiled by author and filmmaker Chris Alexander, this unique new work gathers Corman’s reflections on directing The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, and other classics. Through these extended conversations, Corman discloses the creative choices behind translating Poe’s tales of gothic mystery and madness for the screen. Corman articulates how he remained faithful to the spirit of Poe while updating the stories with contemporary psychology and sly social commentary. He credits screenwriter Richard Matheson with skillfully adapting Poe’s works and freely expanding on the source material, ultimately crafting a series of screenplays as imaginative as the original tales.

Produced on modest budgets for American International Pictures, Corman’s Poe films gained mainstream popularity and critical acclaim. Over time, the cycle has proven enormously influential, yet Corman rarely before has spoken at length about this vital era of his career.

CORMAN/POE shares Corman’s insights into how he brought Poe’s visions to cinematic life with style and substance to spare, their impact, and his evaluations of them today. It provides an intimate perspective on how Corman and his collaborators bent the familiar trappings of genre filmmaking into something wholly original and strange. 

For devotees of gothic horror and independent film, CORMAN/POE reveals Roger Corman’s candid reflections behind the making of his acclaimed Poe films, now over 50 years since inception. Headpress Books has published a one-of-a-kind chronicle of 1960s cinema and Corman’s role in the evolution of horror on screen.   

“CORMAN/POE: Interviews and Essays Exploring the Making of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe Films, 1960–1964” is available now from Headpress Books, featuring conversations with director Roger Corman, critical essays on each Poe film by author Chris Alexander, and dozens of photographs and stills, many of which have never been published before.



“Chris Alexander is easily one of the most fearless, imaginative, and iconoclastic world-builders currently operating in the worlds of cinema and music. And when it comes to conjuring the magic and menace just beyond the veil, the man is damn near peerless.” ― DECIBEL MAGAZINE

Chris Alexander is a Canadian writer, editor, music composer and filmmaker. He is the former editor-in-chief of iconic horror film magazine FANGORIA and editor-in-chief/co-founder of DELIRIUM magazine. He is the writer, director and composer of numerous horror films, including BLOOD FOR IRINA, QUEEN OF BLOOD, FEMALE WEREWOLF, and many others. He has released the albums MUSIC FOR MURDER, BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL and BODY DOUBLE. He is a professor of horror film history at Canada’s Sheridan College and the proud father of three wonderful sons.


Director, producer, distributor and mentor Roger Corman, often dubbed “The Pope of Pop Cinema”, is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of independent genre cinema via his pioneering work in the 1950s and 60s. In the 1970s, Corman found even greater success with his company New World Pictures and in the 1980s became a major player in the direct to video and cable market boom. Along the way he has discovered and nurtured such major talents as Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Nicholson, Dick Miller, Joe Dante, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, James Cameron and many more.