Plays with your mind...
The opening scene will stun you if you expect a sequel or a remake to the previous films in the Rue Morgue franchise. 1971’s Murders in the Rue Morgue is closer to Phantom of the Opera than it is to any of its predecessors. There’s a meta angle, here, way before filmmakers even used that term to describe stories within stories. In this case, we have a play nested inside a movie.
What a gorgeous film this is. The creators spared no expense. You’ve got a carnival and a theatre populated with a bunch of extras featured in several other vibrant set pieces, and all these people are wearing what looks like expensive period clothes. The architecture is just as lavish and elaborate. This is a high-budget production and it’s a charming mindfuck.
Murders in the Rue Morgue is a succession of mesmerizing scenes of ghastly tension. It is reminiscent of older films, it does feel like déjà-vu, but it accomplishes what others have, more gracefully. It is at times unintelligible and sometimes scattered. It features a bunch of talented entertainers hired for thirty seconds each so they can show us their shtick and taste fame. It’s clumsy but cute!