Monday, July 30, 2012

Today Has Been a Vincent Price Kind of Day...

Today has just been one of those days where I had the chance to simply laze about and do nothing of importance. It was rather nice actually. So I decided to have myself a themed movie marathon. Vincent Price themed! He always plays the madman so well and most of the horror movies he's in make me laugh at their absurdity. (In a good way!)  So if you haven't seen any of these movies I'm going to recommend them to you.

1) The Pit and the Pendulum (1962)

One of eight films done using the works of Edgar Allen Poe. This is a horror movie people who aren't normally fans of horror movies can enjoy. The violence/blood/gross things are kept to a very extreme minimum, leaving everything to the imagination. A man receives news of his sister's death and is suspicious of the vague details he receives. He travels to the castle to investigate and discovers the ghost of his sister might be haunting the place. But not everything is as it seems...
The atmosphere is done extremely well for such a low budget production and the Gothic castle is dark and elaborately decorated. Vincent Price plays the meek man wonderfully and then rises to his other part with arresting enthusiasm. (Nearly overacting I'd say, but without seeming ridiculous.)  The movie keeps you in a constant state of suspense and the plot is decent.

2) Theatre of Blood (1973)

A Shakespearean actor (Edward Lionheart) is insulted and overlooked for an award and as a result attempts to commit suicide. Failing, he is discovered by a bunch of meth-addicted tramps (Yes, I'm serious) who he manipulates into helping him exact his revenge on the critics. He makes each murder into a performance and reenacts deaths from Shakespeare's plays. This movie is just so amusing with the frenzied actions of Lionheart and his perverse enjoyment in killing each critic. It's campy and fun with just the right amount of horror thrown in.

3) The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

 This is my second favorite Vincent Price film that I've seen to date. Once again, he's playing an insane man (Can we say typecasting?) but the madness is more subdued. Prince Prospero, a devil-worshiping sadist, mistreats the plagued villages and hides in his castle with his shallow courtiers for entertainment. Francesca is a peasant girl he takes an interest in and brings back to the castle with the intent of corrupting her and making her renounce her faith.  The best part is towards the end, when a stranger crashes the masquerade he's holding and it turns into a danse macabre. Prospero learns that not even his 'master' can protect him from the Red Death he so fears.

 4) The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

This blows Theatre of Blood away in terms of campiness, (it borders on ridiculous at times) but all the same it's my favorite of the lot. Dr. Phibes, hideously scarred from an accident works to get revenge on the nine doctors he feels are responsible for his wife's death. Dr. Phibes is manic in his obsession, completely mad. He bases the deaths around the plagues of Egypt and utilizes 'darkness' in the finale and his own end. And seriously, Phibes had to be the inspiration for Jigsaw. The scene where he places the lead surgeon in a race against time to save his son is a predecessor to the traps in Saw and much more entertaining. (I've never found the Saw movies very good.)  Granted, it's pretty unrealistic (Especially the locusts) but this horror-comedy really is a must see. I personally wouldn't recommend the sequel, it gets too supernatural for me and I think it ruins a perfect end to the first one.

To wrap it all up and break the Vincent Price pattern I decided to go and watch Carrie. Now I remember why I was so freaked out the first time I saw it. Don't denounce old horror movies. I swear all I'll be seeing is her face in my windows tonight. (Note to self: buy curtains). Her fanatical, abusive mother created a monster and both of them creep me out beyond belief. And you almost forget the film is a horror movie until you get to the prom scene.


  1. That would be a fantastic movie marathon! If only I knew someone in person who loved doing the same lol

    He really was one of the greatest!
    I was introduced to him when I first watched Edward Scissor Hands as a kid once upon a time.

    1. None of my family or friends are horror movie enthusiasts so I normally have to have them by myself XD And he really was an amazing actor. I didn't even realize he was in Edward Scissorhands until the second time I watched it ^^